Pilots are limited to 12 hour shifts and medical crews typically work either 12 or 24 hour shifts.
No. Pilots are charged with the safe and efficient transport of the crew and patient without regard to what is happening ” in the back”. By isolating pilots from patient involvement, they can make crucial flight decisions without influence.
Helicopters do respond to accident scene when the pre-hospital personnel’s evaluation of the patient/scene meets local air medical transport guidelines.
54% Inter-facility transports (hospital to hospital), 33% Scene response, and 13% Other (organ procurement/transport)
Trauma, medical (seizure, pulmonary, etc) spinal, burn, pediatric, replant, neonate, organ procurement, High risk OB, non-trauma neuro, and cardiac.
Physicians, Nurses, Pre-hospital personnel, Law Enforcement and any other personnel determined by state or local protocols.
There are many but some of the most common are: Nurse/Nurse, Nurse/Paramedic, Nurse/Respiratory Therapist, Nurse/Physician, Paramedic/Paramedic.
Patients are flown by fixed wing for many different reasons. These can range from the stable patient involved in an accident, or with a long-term medical condition, wishing to relocate closer to family for rehabilitative care, to the critical heart failure patient requiring intensive care transfer to receive a transplant. The fixed wing environment differs from the rotor wing environment primarily in that fixed wing travels farther, faster and higher. The fixed wing is primarily a facility-to-facility transport, typically long distance in nature.
Secondly, there are typically more choices of different types of aircraft, and selections that are less expensive per mile and/or per hour to operate. With licensure and accreditation standards available and easily verifiable, the care provided in the fixed wing environment is the same as the helicopter. The fixed wing is typically not in competition with the rotor wing in that the rotor wing service typically is for moving a patient from a scene to a primary care facility, or a tertiary care facility to a primary care facility.
Fixed Wing aircraft were the first aircraft used in medEvac transport. A medical section of the Army Air Corps was created as early as June 1, 1925 using converted DeHaviland aircraft. Helicopters did not see use as medical transports until 1944.
The weather minimums for safe flight operations are found within the Federal Aviation Regulations. AAMS recommends that medEvac services, regardless of AAMS membership, follow the CAMTS recommended standards of operation. Please visit www.camts.org for the most recent standards put forth by CAMTS.