February 4, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Alternatives to an Air Ambulance

by brcwyngthm in Blog

Sometimes individuals need to be transported over long distances to receive medical care. Some become severely ill or are injured in an accident far from home and prefer to be treated closer to friends and families. Others require medical care that is not available at the hospitals or clinics close to home. Regardless of the situation, these patients need a method of transportation that provides for their medical needs. While an air ambulance can provide you with an air medical transport, there are other options for getting a medical escort.

Commercial Medical Transport

If an air ambulance isn’t available, you may be able to make arrangements for a medical transport on a commercial flight. In this situation, patients will fly on a commercial airline in first class with a medical escort by their side. Many airlines have experience in this area, although some medical conditions do not allow for this type of transportation due to greater medical need. If patients require too much oxygen or other advanced medical interventions, commercial flights will not be an option.

International Medical Stretcher

Traveling abroad can be a great experience, but medical emergencies can also happen while you are out of the country. When this happens, you may wish to be transported home so you can recover in a familiar place. With this alternative to an air ambulance, you can get a medical escort to provide you with a safe flight home on an international airline. A stretcher is installed near the back of the plane after removing several rows of seats. Medical personnel will accompany the individual and administer care as needed. One of the disadvantages to this option is the inability to create a unique flight plan, restricting travel choices.

Long Distance Ground Transport

A third alternative to an air ambulance is long distance ground transport. Similar to travel in your typical ambulance, this type of medical transport uses a van or other large vehicle to transfer the patient via road travel. This can be a viable option for medical conditions that will not handle flights well. Transportation over the ground is also often more affordable for patients, especially those who don’t have the insurance benefits to cover it. One of the disadvantages of ground transport is that it takes longer and requires more stops, depending on the length of the trip.

An air ambulance is one of the most effective methods of air medical transport, giving patients access to better medical care or helping them get treatment close to home. If this form of transportation is unavailable or not an option for you or your loved one, there are other alternatives. Before you choose a method of transportation, do your research on the pros and cons of each method so you can make the best possible choice.