Air Ambulances - An Overview

By: philtur
Have you ever thought about what would happen if you were taken seriously ill while on holiday, either in this country or abroad? Not just a bout of food poisoning, but in hospital, maybe as the result of an accident or a stroke.

When you are too ill to take a regular airline seat you will need to be brought home by air ambulance. Nobody likes to think about it, but it is worth planning ahead and insuring against such eventualities. Make sure that your vacation insurance covers this, because it will make a big hole in your bank account otherwise. Read the small print in your insurance documents to see under exactly what circumstances an air ambulance will be provided by the insurance company.

The other main use for these aircraft is to repatriate the remains of loved ones who have died abroad.

Air ambulances come in two varieties, helicopters and fixed wing. Helicopter air ambulances usually carry emergency medical teams to the scene of an accident. They are extremely useful in rural and city situations. Fixed wing air ambulances can be divided into two types again; short haul and long haul.

Short haul air ambulances are often single or twin engined, propeller driven aircraft that can land on a road near to the accident. They travel faster than a helicopter and are cheaper to run. Fixed wing aircraft can also fly in conditions that would ground a helicopter ambulance. These are used in rural counties in US and Australia.. The air ambulance service in these situations is no luxury, it is essential if lives are to be saved.

Long haul air ambulances are usually business jets. These are used where patients are to be transported over transcontinental and transatlantic distances. They are quicker and more comfortable over these longer distances. If a person has died abroad relatives will often use an air ambulance to repatriate the remains quickly and with respect.

Helicopter ambulances are in use in most city and remote areas in Europe, North America and Australia. Their usefulness in rural areas is obvious, allowing emergency medical personnel to reach the scene of walking, shooting or climbing accidents in the shortest possible time.

Helicopters are usually small, so only carry the most basic resuscitation equipment. The EMT crew will attempt to stabilize the patient enough to allow safe transfer to a hospital. In the city helicopter ambulances can dodge traffic and can land on the road near to traffic accidents.
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