A Brief Introduction to Medical Transportation and Its Types
People visit medical facilities for a variety of reasons, but mostly to solve health challenges. However, getting them to a nearby hospital or clinic without hassles can be challenging. Fortunately, various forms of medical transportation are designated to take you to the hospital safely and efficiently.
The type of transport depends on the mileage and the patient’s condition. For instance, you expect US residents to call 911 for an ambulance if the patient is in a critical situation. If you decide to visit a hospital in another state on your own accord and you are not in any life-threatening condition, a 911 call is considered a false alarm.
Medical transportation is available to patients of all ages and gender 24/7 all year round. Below are the forms of medical transportation:
A. Emergency Medical Transportation (EMT)
We mentioned earlier that when people call an emergency telephone number for a medical crisis, an ambulance shows up to take them to a nearby emergency department or trauma center. So what exactly does EMT entail? Summarily, EMTs provide medical care and attention to critically ill or injured patients. Patients in need of continuous medical supervision also benefit from this form of medical transportation. There are two types of EMT:
1. Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulances: BLS ambulances are for individuals who require constant monitoring like:
- Psychiatric patients
- Medical and surgical patients in need of cardiac monitoring
- Patients with lower limb fractures
- Patients who are moving to subacute facilities like the nursing home.
In a BLS ambulance, paramedics are onboard to provide adequate care for patients as they journey to the hospital. In addition, EMT firms stock BLS ambulances with medical supplies such as bandages, aspirin, defibrillator, spinal immobilization equipment, albuterol, glucometer, and intranasal naxolone(NARCAN).
2. Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulances: The purpose of ALS ambulances is to transport critically ill or injured patients. ALS ambulances have trained personnel like paramedics and emergency medical technicians on board that provides urgent medical attention. These personnel help to stabilize the patient before getting to a hospital emergency department or trauma center.
Medical transportation providers often equip ALS ambulances with the state of the art monitoring equipment, mechanical ventilators, and cardiac life supports. These ambulances have everything that you will find in BLS ambulances and more.
strong>B. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)
This form of medical transportation is for people who do not require monitoring but need assistance to ambulate. Whenever you need to travel interstate for a doctor’s appointment, you can call your NEMT provider to schedule a ride.
NEMT is easy and convenient for long-distance travel. A NEMT vehicle has accommodation for a stretcher in case you have severe back pain. There is also room for a wheelchair or other assistive mobility devices. NEMT is especially great for geriatric patients who have no one to take them to the doctor’s appointment.
If you are traveling between countries or continents for medical reasons, air ambulances are available. Fortunately, air ambulances have an escort team comprising a nurse and some cases, a physician, depending on the patient’s needs.
Lastly, we have courier services for transporting donor organs and blood from one hospital to another or from a hospital to a research center and vice versa. This NEMT type requires that every NEMT personnel hold confidentiality and privacy to the highest possible standard as indicated in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Medical transportation has evolved to meet the needs of every patient. If you have an elderly parent who wants to attend a doctor’s appointment, you do not need to worry. You can contact a NEMT provider who will arrange for a vehicle to pick your parent from their home at an affordable price.
On the other hand, you should contact an emergency telephone number when a loved one has a medical emergency like a stroke. Emergency medical transportation reduces the risk of mortality and severity of the morbidity since patients have rapid access to medical care with an ambulance.