Category Archives: How It Works

Ideal Worldwide Air Ambulance Service

Medical emergencies pop up just about any time. What if they pop up during your overseas vacation? You might be chilling out somewhere in Cuba and suddenly your partner suffers a stroke. You get your partner transported to a hospital and suddenly, you realize that the standards of healthcare are below your expectation. That’s when the panic kicks in.

The first thing that comes to mind is a worldwide air ambulance service that can get your partner safely back home for quality medical care. But then you realize, you’re in Cuba and getting out of a country that doesn’t enjoy a great diplomatic equation with your home country is not all that easy. That’s when the connections of your air ambulance service provider come into picture.

Always Choose Experienced Worldwide Air Ambulance Services

Well-known worldwide air ambulance companies have contacts at the highest level. Take for instance that the Cuban officials put a 24-hour hold on the air ambulance services. These 24 hours could mean the difference between life and death, and staying back is not a choice.

A worldwide air ambulance company that has the right connections will put in all efforts to push the right buttons (and strings) at the highest level to get you evacuated. There are organizations and sympathetic political leaders throughout the world. The only thing needed is the right approach to get to them.

Of Course, Worldwide Air Ambulance Cover Matters

While getting out of a country is one issue, footing the air ambulance bill is another. Your worldwide air ambulance company will be at ease when it knows that you are covered financially. Transporting a patient beyond borders is typically an expensive affair. However, the good news is that there are worldwide air ambulance coverage programs designed specifically for this purpose. The next time, you set out for an overseas vacation, keep these aspects in mind. After all, it pays to be safe.

Understanding Air Ambulance Flights that use Hoist Services

When a person is stuck in a challenging environment, nothing else is as effective as air ambulance flights that make use of hoists. Their presence not only ensures quick rescue but also saves a lot of time and effort when compared to a ground rescue, although they too have not been without hoist fatalities. However, that is a risk that the brave rescuers sometimes take. Here are some of the advantages, limitations, and risks associated with air ambulance flights that make use of hoists.

What Limits the Air Ambulance Flights?

  • If the winds are moving at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour, if the visibility is poor or the weather is simply harsh, air ambulance flights may not undertake a rescue mission.
  • There is a weight limit that comes with hoist operations and if the combined weight of the patient as well as the equipment exceeds 450 pounds, the mission might be abandoned.
  • Hoist operations are never undertaken during night hours
  • Conducting a hoist operation over water is tough and can be quite limiting.

The Factors taken into Consideration by Air Ambulance Flights

  • The nearest location where the aircraft can be fueled
  • Availability of landing area
  • The location of the nearest command post
  • All information related to the patient such as the weight, age, people along with the patient, etc
  • Availability of a backup plan in case the mission cannot be carried out

The Different Types of Hoists Used by Air Ambulance Flights

  • Rescuer Backpack: This contains hoist equipment that’s best suited for rescue along with some emergency medical equipment in anticipation of the injury.
  • Bauman Bag: This equipment is used in winters when the injured patient needs to be kept warm. The bag is a splinter that fits automatically around the patient keeping him or her warm.
  • Rescue Net: Here, the patient is placed prone in a rescue net which is then hooked to the hoist.
  • Seat Harness: This is used primarily to rescue uninjured patients or to rescue those who have very minor injuries that do not pose any threat to life. Here, the harness is simply placed around the patient and hooked up to be hoisted away.

Carrying out hoist rescue missions requires special approval by FAA which is granted only after a rigorous certification process.

Role of Air Ambulance Services in Organ Transplant

It’s often a long and painful wait for an organ donor, no matter which part of the world you’re from. The number of donors around the world is much lesser than those waiting for a donor. Then, there is the issue of organ suitability. All these issues make finding an organ a prized opportunity. It is also vital that the organ reaches the recipient on time and this is where the air ambulance services often come into picture.

How Do Air Ambulance Services Help?

Air ambulance services help transport organs from the remotest of the places to the recipient in the shortest possible time. While air ambulance choppers are used for short distances, fixed wing medical aircrafts are used for longer distances. The air ambulance services are always available on-call in situations like these where a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Air ambulance services are considered 100% safe when transporting organs such as kidneys and liver. There are instances where even heart has been airlifted.

What Makes Air Ambulance Services Ideal for Organ Transport?

Two obvious reasons are the reach and the time taken by air ambulance services. The sophisticated aircrafts also provide a congenial environment for carrying the human organs. Unexpected eventualities like road blocks are virtually nonexistent. The air ambulance services also pave way to carry the patient quickly – with all necessary medical care – to a facility that specializes in organ transplantation. We need to understand that often recipients too are carried to a particular location, depending on factors such as time and availability of specialized hospitals.

The point to note is that most air ambulance services will take complete responsibility of coordinating the entire transport so that the organ reaches safely and on time. There are also insurance covers available to cover such air ambulance services. All it takes is a bit of planning and coordinated effort.

A Walk through the Process of Availing a Medical Flight

Availing a medical flight can be quite intimidating, especially considering the stress of caring for a loved one who is already in distress. Here, we bring you a typical medical flight trip and how things usually pan out. In fact, we walk you through the entire process.

What Happens When You Contact a Medical Flight?

When you call a medical flight company, you will be greeted by customer support first who would collect certain basic information and then transfer you to a case manager or flight coordinator. Here pertinent information related to the medical flight would be relayed to you. This is the time that you can raise any initial concerns such as average flight cost, flight timing, distance, and accompanying the patient. You will be asked to confirm payment arrangement for the medical flight. Feel free to take help of the treating physician and hospital staff if you are not able to answer questions relating to the patients condition or ailment.

The Medical Flight Coordination Begins

The information gathered from you will be relayed to the medical director of the air ambulance provider. The director will, in turn, get in touch with the attending physician. The attending physician would lay down the medical necessities of the patient so that the flight can be prepared accordingly. This includes qualified staff as well as medical equipment, and also information regarding transfer to an appropriate medical facility.

On the Day of Medical Flight

The medical flight company will get in touch with all those involved in the transport of the patient, including the hospital staff. The ground ambulance would take the patient up to the medical flight and the patient would be taken onboard. The patient and the person accompanying would be briefed on safety precautions and the dos and don’ts.

Upon reaching the destination, a ground ambulance would be already waiting to ferry the patient to the medical facility which is pre-decided. The patient is carefully offloaded and reconnected to any vital medical equipment in the ground ambulance as necessary. The medical flight team would brief the receiving medical staff about the patient’s condition before signing off.

The onus of arranging and coordinating between medical facilities, ambulances and the medical flight is taken care by the hospital and the air ambulance staff. All you would need to do is take care of the payment procedure and pray for the good health of the patient.

Two US Passports

Overseas Help with Air Ambulances

Travelling overseas alone, or even as a couple, can be quite intimidating, especially if you encounter a medical emergency of serious nature. Even if you are covered for emergency medical evacuation and have good travel insurance, you would be better off returning to your home country for better treatment and aftercare. Air ambulances become a necessity in these cases. If you are a citizen of the United States, you can expect some help from the US Consulate in this regard.

How Can the Consulate Help You with Air Ambulances?

The consulate will assist you in locating an air ambulance that is best suited for your medical evacuation. You can even request that your friends and family be informed if doing that is tough for you given the circumstances. This will give your loved ones enough time to arrange for finances and take care of other aspects on your arrival.

You can always visit the US Passports and International Travel website to view the list of medical evacuation companies. The same website also lists the US as well as overseas travel and medical insurance companies.

Consulate does not Cover Cost of Air Ambulances

Keep in mind that the consulate merely acts as a facilitator and any expense will still have to be borne by you, your family, your insurance or any other type of coverage that you might have opted for. Keep in mind that your domestic insurance carrier will not cover you when you are abroad, if you have not purchased a cover that specifically states that a medical evacuation will be covered.

The website of the US Passports and International Travel specifically mentions that it assumes no liability or responsibility of any kind. The companies that provide air ambulances are merely listed for the convenience of international travellers. However, finding links to information about air ambulance companies and insurance providers becomes easy when you refer to this website.

Understanding Why Air Ambulance Services are Expensive

We have heard many a stories where families have been drained of their finances owing to the cost of air ambulance services that go uncovered by insurance. If you are wondering why this life-saving mode of transport is getting more expensive by the day, you must look into all the factors that go into the pricing of air ambulance services.

Air Ambulance Services are Expensive due to Several Factors

Even though the fuel prices have gone down, jet fuel prices have not fallen proportionately; so the cost of fuel to run air ambulance services is one major factor.

Insurance cost of air ambulance vehicles have also gone up due to the many air ambulance accidents that we have witnessed recently.

Insurance providers and healthcare watchdogs expect air ambulance services to maintain the highest standards, and maintaining such standards comes at a cost.

The salaries of critical care nurses and doctors too are rising rapidly, which is adding to the cost of air ambulance services.

Think of in-flight training exercises that the crew has to go through. Someone has to pay for these exercises and the cost is ultimately borne by the beneficiaries of the services.

The periodic maintenance and upkeep of air ambulances is mandatory in most instances and comes at a very high cost.

There are also licensing and regulation costs which recur periodically.

Extra Costs of Overseas Air Ambulance Services

When a patient needs medical repatriation, the costs go up to dizzying heights. It is not just the fuel that adds to the cost of air ambulance services in such cases.

There may be several permits that need to be obtained when a patient has to be flown overseas which can cost a considerable amount.

Certain parts of the world demand that precautions be taken to avoid contaminations and infections – the cost of which can be significant.

Special precautions need to be taken and more wages need to be paid when a patient has to be transported from a war-torn or unstable region.

Governments across the world and the US need to take a closer look at the rising cost of air ambulance services and come up with a lasting solution for cost containment, lest the people will continue to suffer financially.

Questions that Define the Necessity of Air Ambulance Service

As the kin of the patient or a patient, you might feel that you need only the best care possible in the quickest possible time. However, if one is to keep the emotions and fears aside and decide purely on necessity, the answers to the questions listed below determine whether you need air ambulance service or not. Let’s take a peek.

Does the condition of the patient warrant that he or she spends only a minimum amount of time outside the environment of a medical facility?
If the answer to this question is as little time as possible, then the patient might need the air ambulance service.

Is a particular test or evaluation urgent or time-sensitive?
If the patient needs a test done urgently and it is not possible to get to the testing facility on time through ground transport, an air ambulance service might need to come into play.

Is the weather condition suitable for air ambulance service to be availed?
Suitable weather conditions are of paramount importance when it comes to an air ambulance service. The wrong weather can put the life of the patient and the crew members in jeopardy.

Is there adequate landing facility near the hospital that the patient is being transported to?
Without proper helipad or air port near the hospital that the patient is being flown to, availing air ambulance service would make no sense. The overall time advantage might be negated after landing if the distance to the hospital is huge.

Is the patient’s condition right for air ambulance service?
There are certain ailments that can exacerbate or turn into critical ones if the patient travels by air. The treating physician would be in the knowhow of this.

Is the air ambulance service equipped enough to address the ailment?
Air ambulance service providers may have several aircrafts with varying medical facilities onboard. The patient can be transported using the medical aircraft only if the facilities onboard meet his or her requirements.

Are qualified crew members available at the moment?
In rare situations, when the mishap is of huge proportions, adequately qualified crew members might not be available. In such situations, depending on the patient’s condition, it might be wise to wait until the crew members are available.

These are the type of questions that treating facilities and air ambulance service providers ask themselves before suggesting or even considering an air ambulance service for a patient. Knowing these parameters beforehand helps the patients and their loved ones to understand the logic behind the medical transportation decisions being taken.

Will My Insurance Cover an Air Ambulance Flight?

During a medical emergency, no one wants to worry about money. However, medical care can be very expensive. Air ambulances typically transport the sickest, most critical patients. Air ambulances are operated by highly-trained personnel. Therefore, the costs for air ambulance transport can be astronomical.

Not all insurance companies will pay for air ambulance transport. With almost no exceptions, they will have strict requirements for payment. Typically a patient would need to be in the middle of a severe medical emergency with no other options for the company to pay. Since such situations most often occur unexpectedly, it would be a smart idea to ask you insurance company ahead of time if they will cover transport by air ambulance.

Also, before you decide on a medical flight company, check out the air ambulance company’s ratings and reviews online.  I would also ensure that the air ambulance company is properly accredited and has the appropriate insurance and licenses.

What does Complete Continuity of Care mean?

Complete continuity of care in the air ambulance industry transportation refers to by accompanying the patient during every stage of their journey. The air ambulance company’s medical teams will meet the patient at the discharging facility, and accompany them until they reach their destination. Not just the airport in the city, but to and from your room at home, the hospital or other care facility. It is incredibly important to keep your medical care as seamless as possible when transporting you and ensuring the receiving facility receives all of your details upon your arrival.

When is a Ground Ambulance vs Air Ambulance vs Helicopter used?

Ground Ambulance

It normally makes both practical and economic sense to transport a patient via ground ambulance for transports within 200 miles.

Helicopter Air Ambulance

A helicopter Air Ambulance is generally used if an emergency transport is needed, especially from hospital to hospital within a range of about 200 miles.

Airplane (Fixed Wing) Air Ambulance

Non emergency transports more than 200 miles are usually most effective in a airplane air ambulance. Emergency air transports that are more than 300 miles are usually most effective in airplane air ambulance.