Air Ambulance is an emergency care airline service that is equipped with all lifesaving equipment, ventilators, defibrillators, and a specialist team of doctors. It is used to transport critically-ill patients from one city or country to another. They are also called Aeromedical Evacuation or simply known as Medevac.
Types of Flight Ambulance services:
There are two types of flight ambulances services which are as follows:
Fixed-wing flight ambulance and
Fixed-wing flight ambulances mainly include airplanes such as jets which are apt for long-distance travel and best suited for medical evacuation and repatriation of patients.
The second type is the rotary flight ambulance that includes helicopters used for rescues and apt for shorter distances. These are typically used in remote and offshore areas including oil and gas installations.
Why Air-Medical transport service is used:
Air medical transport services are very popular globally and are used extensively:
To provide critically ill patients urgent medical care
To reach remote locations that are not accessible by road and
Mountainous regions and places that lack medical facilities
Airlifting of patients is the only feasible option in remote areas. This is due to time saved- especially when the life of a patient is in a critical state and needs medical attention. Emergencies can occur anytime. The capability of an air ambulance service provider that is specialized in air transfer also provides ground transport, arrange hospital in the destination city (country), and get required ground clearances for the airplane.
How much does an air or flight ambulance service cost?
The air ambulance fare varies from country to country. The costs associated with the air medical evacuation services are calculated as follows:
The distance between one place to another
Number of people accompanying the patient
The type of urgency
Patient’s health condition
Landing and logistical charges for an air ambulance to land at an airport
Miscellaneous charges (Ground ambulance charges, hospital booking, visa, and certain other permits)
What is the process of air ambulance?
Usually, there are 6 steps involved in the process of booking air medical evacuation services for emergency medical care. They are as follows:
Contacting the air ambulance service provider (by phone or any other means): When a need for urgent medical evacuation arises, a distress call is made on the phone or an email sent.
Preparation of the medical report: A health report, which is a written document is prepared by the doctors at the request of the patient’s situation stating the patient’s condition and severity of the case.
Sending report to the Medevac team: The patient’s medical report gets sent to the Medevac team as part of the process after which the patient will be assigned with a designated travel doctor to establish the flight needs of the patient
Get a quote for the medevac: The facilitator will then engage their network of flying ambulance services to obtain the estimate and provide to the patient.
Hospital estimate: Once the estimate is prepared, a well-experienced air ambulance facilitator will contact a good hospital at the destination, based on the condition of the patient.
Other requirements: Besides the above requirements, a few other issues to be borne in mind are the visa availability for the patient and companion to the destination country, ground ambulance to receive at the airport, tarmac clearance for the ground ambulance, etc.
An experienced air ambulance service provider can organize all details required for the transport of an ill patient from one country to another.
Is there any alternative to Air Ambulance?
In cases where the patient has time and is short of funding, an air stretcher is an alternative to the air ambulance. Though not as convenient as an air ambulance it is almost at 40 – 50 % of its cost. In this case, permission is sought from commercial airlines to accommodate a stretcher on a scheduled flight. Depending on the situation, the airline removes a few seats and converts them into a stretcher accommodation.
Not many airlines do this but the majority of the large airlines support this task.
What is an Air Stretcher?
An Air Stretcher is a form of transportation for patients over long distances. It is usually used in emergencies, especially from one country to another, where the patient is on a budget. It involves using a commercial aircraft and removing 2-3 rows of passenger seats to accommodate the air stretcher. There is also a curtain to provide privacy for the patient. There is usually a traveling companion like relatives and a doctor or nurse to tend to the patient throughout the flight.
Why is an Air Stretcher used?
To transport a patient that cannot travel in a sitting or reclined position
For emergency transfer of patients
Budget-friendly transport of patients compared to air ambulance
How to arrange for an Air Stretcher?
Commercial aircraft are used for air stretcher services, but not all airlines provide this service, especially North American and European airlines, because of the delays caused by aircraft turnarounds. First, a request is made to the airline for the use of an air stretcher. The patient or guardian will then fill out a medical information request form. This form is then evaluated and approved by the airline doctor. Samples of Turkish Airlines and Emirates Airlines forms are available:
Payment for the air stretcher is expected to be made before use. Next, the medical equipment provided depends on the patient's medical condition. Usually, an oxygen supply tank is available with the stretcher. Advanced medical equipment is usually not allowed by the airlines, but basic medical equipment is provided to the patient. The regular schedule of airlines is usually affected by providing an air stretcher. Hence, the airlines require at least 48-96 hours' notice after payment to make necessary arrangements. The air stretcher fixing arrangement has to be completed at the home base to evaluate the engineering and load impact on the aircraft.
Cost of an Air Stretcher
An Air Stretcher usually costs half or less than half the cost of an air ambulance. For instance, the cost of transporting a patient on an air stretcher from West Africa to Europe is approximately 30,000 USD - 40,000 USD. Also, transporting from South Asia to Thailand or Malaysia is approximately 35,000 USD. The cost depends on:
The frequency of flights
The number of persons accompanying the patient
Airlines typically provide one extra seat for each air stretcher booking.
Basic Checklist for Air Stretcher
Basic requirements before using an air stretcher are listed below.
The patient, the doctor, and the patient's companion must all have visas.
The hospital that will accept the patient in the destination country must be identified and agree to accept the patient.
Arrangements for ambulances both in origin and destination countries should be made. It should be an ambulance that can come to the tarmac.
A comprehensive patient report (MEDIF) signed by the treating doctor.
The patient should have the required funds for the air stretcher paid. Once payment is made and the aircraft has taken off, payment is non-refundable.
Identify an agency that can coordinate all activities related to air stretchers.
Watch this video for more information
How to find an Air Stretcher provider?
Very few organizations have relevant experience coordinating an air stretcher for medical emergencies. This is where we ease your burden. Anavara is one of the most dependable and experienced air stretcher service providers.
We, at Anavara, make the process of air ambulance travel simple and straightforward by helping your loved one get transported from the tarmac of the airport to the hospital of the country of your choice so you don't have to worry about a thing, all at an affordable price.
To discuss our service in detail and get a free quote, contact us at [email protected] or send a text or whatsapp/ viber/ telegram message to +1 909 9030000.