I’m consistently amazed at the enthusiasm, respect, and overall awareness our neighbors across the pond have for their local air ambulance teams.
In just the latest example I’ve happened to come across (albeit a couple days late), the BBC reported that about 100 cyclists rode their choice of 100 kilometers or 100 miles to raise vital funds for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust as part of The Double 100 Cycle Challenge.
Some participants of the event were air ambulance crew members and at least one former patient transported by the service. Coinciding with the popular event, the Kent, Surrey, and Sussex Air Ambulance just got a new MD-902 explorer helicopter to replace an older aircraft at one of their bases.
The story of a shockingly-high medical transport bill is making news in middle America today.
And, like all these high air ambulance bill stories, it seems to cast the whole industry in an unwanted light.
WOWT in Nebraska reported that a patient was charged $25,000 US for a mere 46 mile transport in a medical helicopter.
At about $543 a mile, you can’t blame the patient’s husband for questioning whether it was necessary to transport her by helicopter. Nor can you blame him for thinking that clearly, there must have been a mistake on the bill.
These are stressful situations patients and their immediate families run into quite often. Because of the nature of emergency air transport for a critical-care patient, cost and need is often not discussed thoroughly beforehand.
A news source in Arizona reports that a medical helicopter transporting a trauma patient from northern Arizona made an emergency landing in the desert near New River, a community just north of Phoenix, Monday evening.
The ambulance was, according to law enforcement, forced to make the emergency landing after smoke was discovered emanating from the cabin. The air ambulance made a successful hard landing in a desert area near New River Road and Circle Mountain Road.
Following the landing, firefighters rapidly transferred the trauma patient from the helicopter to a ground ambulance, which took the patient to a nearby trauma center.
Thankfully, none of the Guardian Air flight crew on board were injured in the hard landing.
As always in these situations, the FAA and NTSB are expected to investigate the landing and the cabin smoke that forced the ambulance to land.
The television network TNT (who, by their own admission, “know drama”) has ordered a new docu-drama show centered on the life and times of an air ambulance crew.
The unscripted series will focus on air medical teams at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
Cameras will follow air medical pilots, flight paramedics, flight nurses, and flight physicians as they perform their usual duties, including life-saving procedures both in the air and on the ground.
It will also give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on behind various doors at the medical center. Cameras will record the efforts of emergency room staff and trauma surgeons as they race against the clock to save the lives of patients brought in by the air ambulance crew.
Being shot documentary-style, we expect the new show to depict real incidents of trauma, life-saving, and other things air medical teams deal with on a day-to-day basis.
An English air medical flight crew and a paramedic team rushed to the scene of what they thought was an emergency — only to discover that the person trapped inside wasn’t trapped… or a person.
A parked vehicle blanketed in snow and encased in a layer of ice, with someone inside, was reported to emergency services. The good-hearted, well-intended person who reported the emergency was unable to gain access to the interior of the vehicle, and believed the victim trapped inside was unconscious and not breathing.
Technically, they were correct. On both counts. For when the air ambulance crew and paramedics arrived at the scene, after a careful assessment of the situation, they realized they were responding to a mannequin sitting inside a parked car.