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Too Many Trauma Centers, Lower Quality of Care?

Too Many Trauma Centers, Lower Quality of Care?

Hospitals all across the United States are adding on specialized trauma centers at an incredible pace, as American populations go up and boards of directors look to turn greater profits. But are they all needed?

Let’s look at the facts, as reported in USA Today. Since 2009, over 200 trauma centers have been opened. In addition, another 75 hospitals are seeking approvals to build them.

Are states like Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas in danger of becoming over-saturated with trauma centers?

Is such a thing even possible?

Ironically, the current trend is the reverse of what was occuring in the 90s and early 00s, where trauma centers had been closing across America. This seems indicative of a cycle, where trauma centers are built as hospitals turn profits, and close them when the running costs become too high. Judging by the record additions being made by hospitals across the U.S., we would appear to be in the former.

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Beautiful Video of Air Ambulance Taking Off at Twilight

Beautiful Video of Air Ambulance Taking Off at Twilight

After scouring all the air ambulance videos that YouTube had to offer, I stumbled upon this little-viewed video uploaded by Thomas MacDonald. The video documents an air ambulance that has landed at a local park not to pick up the patient, but apparently to fly in an anesthetist for the ground EMS crew.

The air ambulance then lifts off the grass and ascends into the sky, ready for its next mission.

It’s always great to see air and ground working together to help provide emergency care to a patient. In the world of emergency medicine, that’s a valuable synergy.

The video is about 3 and a half minutes long, but if you want to skip right to the actual liftoff, you can jump right to about 3:00.

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UK Celebrates National Air Ambulance Week

UK Celebrates National Air Ambulance Week

Today marked a great start to the first day of National Air Ambulance Week 2012 (NAAW 2012) in the United Kingdom.

Air ambulance services all across the UK will be participating in the awareness campaign which runs until September 30. Some of the air medical services involved in NAAW 2012 will be holding various fundraising events for the public, such as “fly-ins” where residents can see their local air ambulance land and take off.

Events like these also present a great opportunity for locals to actually meet the air ambulance crews who regularly risk their own lives to save lives in their community.

As there are so many air ambulance services in the country whose critical, life-saving air medical operations are fueled entirely by charitable contributions from the public, with no direct government or lottery funding, National Air Ambulance Week is an especially important time of year. Emergency air medical services in the United Kingdom are always in need of financial support to keep their air ambulances flying.

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Medical Tourism and the Air Ambulance

Medical Tourism and the Air Ambulance

Are “medical tourists” poised to overtake traditional air medical patients as the leading users of international air ambulance services? It could happen — one day.

Yesterday, in fact, a UC lecturer expressed his concerns on the growth of international medical tourism, noting that its current booming status is the result of the failure of some governments to respond to increasing demands for public health services.

Earlier this month, the air ambulance service FDN (Flying Doctors Nigeria) went on the record in Nigeria’s The Nation to state that its purpose is “not” to promote foreign medical tourism.

Earlier this year, Iranian President Ahmadinejad boasted of advances in medical science and technology, purporting that Iran is now welcoming about 30,000 international medical tourists into its healthcare facilities each year.

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Guam’s CareJet Program Resumes Service

Guam’s CareJet Program Resumes Service

A news release that appeared on PNC has confirmed that Carejet Assist is resuming its air medical service in Guam and the Mariana Islands effective this month. The reinstatement of the subscriber-based air ambulance program appears to be related to a brand new agreement between Carejet and Calvo SelectCare.

Additionally, Carejet is expanding its range of air ambulance services to include medical escort for patients who are able to travel on regular commercial airliners when critical health care services are not a requirement.

CareJet had previously provided its lifesaving services in the Pacific from October 2007 to November 2011. The service was halted when not enough residents of the Marianas had signed up for coverage.

We covered the ceasing of CareJet’s services a bit back in November 2011, in a blog titled Are Subscriber-Based Air Ambulance Services Always Feasible.

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