6 Factors to Consider Before Using an Air Ambulance Company
Most people tend to make their choice of an air ambulance based on price, without considering other factors, but that’s not always the right thing to do. It is imperative to consider the following before deciding to use the service of any air medical service company.
1. Safety Record
There are many air ambulance and air medical transport companies in the country, but they do not all have the same safety records. When choosing an air ambulance service, ensure it is one that has an outstanding safety record. Here are a few things to look for:
- Meets all required competency standards
- Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS)
- Hold an FAA Part 135 Certificate
- Have an ARGUS rating.
2. Pilot Qualification
A credible air ambulance company should have pilots that hold an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. This is the highest certification awarded to pilots in the United States. It should be held by those flying the aircraft of any medical air transport company in the U.S.. It would also be best if the company has two pilots assigned to each emergency flight.
3. Aircraft Type
While in dire need of an air ambulance service, the type of aircraft used in the transport is often overlooked. When choosing an air ambulance service, ensure it is one that makes use of an all-weather pressurized aircraft. These types of aircraft are safe as they are equipped to fly smoothly in most weather conditions. Also, find out if the cabin of their aircraft is well suited for medical transportation.
4. Transport Team Qualification
Don’t just go for any air ambulance company. Take your time to find out if their medical director is trained in emergency medicine. Also, find out if other members of the transport team – paramedics, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other specialists are trained to handle very severe medical cases. Every healthcare professional on the air ambulance team should be trained in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, neonatal, pediatric care, and flight physiology.
5. Equipment in the Air Ambulance
Back in the day, medical air transport was just about transporting sick or critically injured persons by air to proper health facilities. These days, treatment is expected to start while in the air. So be on the lookout for a medical air transport company that flies with critical care medications and equipment. Oxygen, portable lab analyzer, and other more advanced medical equipment should be on board.
6. Number of Specialists Assigned to a Flight
While most companies assign just one health care specialist to a flight, it is much better, and safer, to have two health care specialists per trip. During transportation, a patient’s condition may deteriorate and go beyond the control of a single critical care medical professional. It is better to be safe than sorry, and given that a life is at stake, being safe is always better.