Vacation Information From The Frequent Traveler

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Questions About Medical Flights

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There are multiple reasons that you may need to be transported to a medical facility via ambulance. Sometimes, it is due to an emergency; other times, it is due to the need to monitor or support the medical condition of the transported patient, even though no emergency is involved. Here are a few questions and answers about medical flights:

Can any type of aircraft be used for medical flight?

Usually, a helicopter or airplane is used for transportation during a medical flight. Helicopters are normally employed if the flight distance is short and the patient needs emergency medical care. People who have suffered severe trauma from an accident and need to receive extensive medical care immediately, such as victims of serious auto accidents, are usually transported by helicopter. Airplanes are often used for medical transport that is not considered an emergency.

Like helicopters that are used for medical transport, a plane that is used as an air ambulance is specially equipped to transport medical patients and is manned by a medically trained flight crew. Often, the transported patient is too ill to fly using a commercial flight. Medical equipment that is normally found in a ground ambulance, such as EKG devices, stretchers, respirators and emergency medicines, are found on aircraft that are used for medical flights.

Are medical flights expensive?

The cost of a medical flight generally varies based on distance and the types of required medical personnel. For a short flight, the total cost may be under $2,000. However, for a longer flight within the United States, the cost can be close to $50,000. International flights maybe $200,000 or more.

What services are included in the cost of a medical flight?

If the flight is pre-planned , the doctor of the patient should examine him or her and assess the types of medical devices and treatment that may be needed during the flight. The plane or helicopter should be adequately equipped to support the patient's travel as a part of the flight cost. In addition, a family member can sometimes travel with the patient at no additional cost.

What costs are considered extras?

The company responsible for the medical flight may not supply a ground ambulance to take the patient directly to the medical facility from the landing pad or airport.

To learn more about medical flights and the services that are provided, schedule an appointment with a medical transportation service in your area.