Air ambulance is the mode of air transportation with the help of helicopter or airplane, which is equipped with the best and necessary medical facilities and is used for the transportation of sick and injured people from one place to another. Air ambulance is preferred when a sick person has to cover a long distance over a short time. It is the most comfortable mode of transportation for people who are not well and in emergency situations. An air ambulance is used mostly for the following purposes:
- Air ambulances are usually called during medical traumas when a large number of people gets injured in an accident or an attack and immediate evacuations are required.
- Trauma specialist team can go the scene of the disaster and help to cure and treat injuries of the people.
- During floods or wars, helicopters can go the emergency area and evacuate people from the scene.
An airplane or a helicopter needs to have certain facilities and medical equipment in order to be known as an air ambulance. It cannot be approved to have a license to be used as an ambulance unless these facilities are available. Following is the list of things that an air ambulance ought to have:
- A stretcher or board
- Oxygen supply
- IV pumps
- Cardiac monitor
- Equipment for intubation
- Emergency medicines
- Power inverter
- Portable suction units
- Pulse oximeters
Other than speedy transportation for long distances, there are many advantages of air ambulance over the land ambulance. Some of these benefits are:
- Elimination of traffic: The major challenge that is being faced by land ambulance is traffic. Road traffic is increasing at an alarming rate. Vehicles are stuck in the traffic for hours sometimes if any accident has taken place in that area. Especially during the festive days, when people are usually out of their homes to enjoy the festivities, traffic tends to get out of control. This delays the ambulance to reach their destination which is really harmful to the life of patients.
- Organ transfers: Air ambulances are of great use at the time of organ transfer. Organs are usually available and required immediately and without any prior warning. Air ambulance saves time, traffic and ensures the safety of the organs to be transferred.
- Number of lives saved: At the time of multiple injuries, it is difficult for land ambulances to reach the destination on time and to attend so many casualties. Air ambulance has much better facilities in terms of medical equipment as compared to a traditional ambulance which can start the treatment of patients to at least keep him/ her stable.
Although air ambulances have many benefits and are the best source of help during major casualties or when a natural disaster strike, there are a number of things that can go wrong during this transportation. So there are some precautions which all the companies or hospitals need to take: The pilot who is driving the helicopter or airplane should be well trained and an experienced pilot, as he/ she is responsible for not only the life of the patient but also the doctors. Air traffic controller (ATC) should also be present to supervise the air traffic. The function of ATC is to provide signals to clear the air traffic so that the air ambulance does not have any problem on its way.