You've probably seen a medical flight helicopter at the scene of an accident before, but you may not have ever thought about what could happen if you ever needed their services. Here's a look at what you need to know about when transportation like this might be necessary for you and what you should expect.
When Might a Medical Flight Be Necessary?
There are three common situations where a medical flight is typically requested.
General Support - In general support cases, you may have a seemingly minor medical situation but be in need of steady oxygen supply and an IV. If your condition is stable but unpredictable, a medical flight is a good idea to get you to the hospital quickly.
Advanced Support - In cases of advanced support needs, your injuries may be more significant and you might have a need for an infusion. These situations require more extensive care, precise attention and rapid response, warranting the need for an air ambulance.
Critical Support - In situations where you need critical care, you may be more medically unstable and in need of constant care, like ventilation or invasive treatment. Medical flights are equipped for this and can get you to a local medical facility quickly.
Can Anyone Travel With You?
Having a friend or family member travel with you is possible, but not a guarantee. In some cases, the medical personnel may determine that your condition is too significant or the flight conditions are too difficult to bring a passenger along. In other situations, you may be able to take up to two people with you. It all depends on the judgement of the medical crew and the capacity of the helicopter.
Is A Medical Flight Really Safe?
The pilots who fly medical transportation helicopters are trained professionals with tens of thousands of flight hours behind them before they can obtain certification. They are also trained in trauma response, so they are able to understand the patient care necessary and keep their cool in challenging situations like these.
What Else Can You Expect?
You'll be expected to remain as still as you can during the flight. Not only does this help to reduce the potential for any further injuries, but it also helps to avoid sudden shifts in the weight balance of the helicopter. Make every effort to follow the instructions of the flight crew as closely as possible.
Medical flights are usually reserved for more serious or time-sensitive injuries. It is entirely likely that you may never need their services. If you ever experience an accident that requires air transportation, you'll be able to understand the situation better with this information.