Bed to bed air ambulance services are often used when the patient is critical or needs constant medical attention throughout the transport. Essentially, the air ambulance service would coordinate the services such that the patient is under medical supervision throughout the duration of the transport, including transfer from hospital to the air ambulance and air ambulance to the receiving hospital.
How is Bed to Bed Air Ambulance Service Beneficial?
For one, the patient is constantly under the observation of medical experts. The staff that accompanies the patient is usually provided by a separate agency other than the transferring hospital. The knowledge exchange between medical experts about the patient becomes easier when a bed to bed air ambulance service is used.
The air ambulance staff also makes arrangements for ground ambulance in case there is a need to transport the patient by land from the airport to the receiving hospital. At the same time, the air ambulance service would ensure that all vital arrangements in the ground ambulance are ready. This effort also reduces the transit time. Moreover, due to constant communication, the ground staff would be aware of the patient condition at all times.
The same goes with the receiving hospital too. In other words, the condition of the patient can be constantly communicated to the receiving hospital and all necessary arrangements can be made beforehand. Such an arrangement puts the worries of the patient’s loved ones to rest for the most part.
Is Bed to Bed Air Ambulance Service Expensive?
It is slightly more expensive when compared to ground ambulance transport and a normal air ambulance transport where the patient is brought to the medical flight independently.
The fact that there is a lot of coordination involved with bed to bed air ambulance service increases the price a bit. However, one must realize that the ground ambulance coverage and air ambulance coverage are calculated separately by insurance companies and if the doctor has recommended such close monitoring, the chances are that the entire cost will be borne by the insurance provider.
Availing bed to bed air ambulance service is not a call that you must take on your own. The decision must be left to the qualified medical professionals as it is only then that this service is approved by insurance providers.
If you are going on an extreme sports trip, the chances of needing medical care and air ambulance cover are naturally more. So, you need to question yourself, “Is mere travel insurance enough?” In fact, there are special travel insurance designed just for the purpose and you must look into them. However, before that, you must know certain facts.
Classifying Extreme Sports before Looking at Air Ambulance Cover
Going for a swim in calm waters or ruffling some waves by the beach does not count as extreme sports. Extreme sports are those where there is a high likelihood of mishaps, even after safety precautions, and can warrant emergency medical treatments including air ambulance evacuations. Some of these are:
- Deep sea scuba diving
- River rafting
- Rock climbing
- High altitude mountaineering
- Bungee jumping
- High-speed or cross-country biking
Air Ambulance Cover and Insurance are no Substitute for Reasonable Precautions
Most extreme sporting companies will not even entertain your request unless you have adequate extreme sports insurance. They might also demand that you have enough extreme sporting experience and practice behind you. The reason is simple; the eventualities in such sports can even mean death or disability. Having adequate insurance and air ambulance cover increases your chances of survival drastically. You are assured of immediate medical care in any foreign countries. One must note in this context that most countries outside the US demand assurance of payments before the treatment is initiated.
Choosing the Air Ambulance Cover and Insurance
Here are a few points that you need to consider:
- Your sports insurance might cover air ambulance evacuations. If that’s the case you don’t have to worry at all. However, it is vital to look whether there are limitations to this cover.
- Compare the costs. Sometimes buying a separate air ambulance cover is more economically viable. So check whether the travel insurance company is charging you exorbitant rates.
- Compare between various travel-insurance providers and compare the prices and the kind of facilities being provided. You would not only need air ambulance evacuation cover, but also coverage for medical consultation, hospitalization, and treatment.
- If you are going as a couple or a group, look for discounts. Never hesitate speaking to the company’s representative.
You need to fill your forms for extreme sports travel insurance clearly and mention the kind of activities that you would be involved in to avoid confusion later.
It is natural for one to wonder what separates medical flights from commercial charter flights, after all both would be available on demand. Of course, a medical flight would be fitted with equipment that are designed to serve the patients but one might ask whether such equipment can be made available at short notice in a charter flight. In fact some of the features of medical flights are always available in commercial charger flights. So, what exactly is the difference?
Oxygen System in Medical Flights
Oxygen would be available in both; however, medical flights store a different class of oxygen. Unlike charter planes that can only deliver about 4 to 8 liters of oxygen per minute, medical flights can deliver oxygen at 25 liters per minute. Plus it delivers medical grade oxygen and not oxygen butanes that commercial flights do.
Sickbeds in Medical Flights
The maximum you would find in a charter flight is a temporary stretcher. However, a medical sickbed is permanently anchored on medical flights and come with far superior features than a temporary stretcher.
Power Systems in Medical Flights
Medical equipment need power supply that is vastly different from that available on commercial charter flights. The equipment need DC 28V and AC 110V power supply, which is inbuilt in medical flights. No such facilities would be available in commercial flights.
Cabin Pressure in Medical Flights
Certain medical conditions demand that there is a constant barometric pressure. Medical flights are designed to maintain such pressures. On the other hand, the pressure in charter flights varies with altitudes over 5000 feet above sea level.
Medical flights are better equipped to handle emergencies
Medical flights only ferry passengers and would be on standby 24 hours a day. The patients are assured of qualified medical care onboard and do not have to make separate arrangements for that. Most life support equipment would be already onboard and only certain equipment in special circumstances need to be borrowed from the transferring hospital.
Every year over 400 thousand rescue operations take place employing air ambulance choppers and the numbers are only increasing. There also has been a surge of private players in the air ambulance industry, which has led to a whopping demand for air ambulance pilots. If you have a flare for flying and a heart to serve the needy, career as air ambulance pilot is right for you. Here, we discuss the path to become an air ambulance pilot.
Air ambulance companies demand that you have the requisite education
No company will employ you unless you have at least 2 years of college education, most prefer a 4-year degree. Veer towards subjects like aeronautical engineering and physics for your major.
US air ambulance companies will ask you for a second-class certificate
This is a medical certificate that clears you to train and fly as a commercial pilot. You can get this through an Aviation Medical Examiner. To find one, visit the FAA website.
Attend a flight school
Ensure that you attend one that has been certified by FAA. Alternatively, you can also train under an instructor who has been certified by FAA. People who have served in the military and have enough flight hours under their belt are exempted from this.
Instrument training to fly air ambulances
As a US air ambulance pilot, you might have to fly in tough weather conditions. This also involves flying using instruments when visibility is low. You will have to garner a total of 40 hours of instrument training.
Gain experience and flight hours
Most air ambulance companies will demand that you have a minimum of 1000 hours of flight experience. While training for these many hours can be expensive, an easier alternative is to join an aviation school as an instructor.
You are all set to apply to become an air ambulance pilot
You are now free to apply for an air ambulance job in the market. With so many US air ambulance companies already existing, you are sure to land a job pretty quickly.