Air Ambulances Double their Services to Fight Ebola

The Ebola epidemic has shed new light on why air ambulances are so important for the health of humankind. The fight against Ebola is rarely mentioned in the absence of air ambulance services these days. Phoenix Air, which has flown several Ebola affected people from West Africa, has literally doubled its efforts now. Although Phoenix Air had two Gulfstream jets, one was usually kept on standby while the other was constantly used to ferry the patients. It has recently been learnt that a third air ambulance is now ready, paving way for the use of two air ambulances simultaneously. In fact, two air ambulances were recently flown to transport Ebola patients according to a confirmation by the State Department.

The Increase in Number of Air Ambulances is a Welcome Move

The holidays are near and more people are expected to move within the region of the exotic West African countries. Red Cross has warned that this trend could lead to more Ebola cases being reported. At least two American rescue workers have been reported to have been exposed to the deadly virus. The information about movement of infected patients has been largely kept away from public. It is believed that air ambulances owned by Phoenix made a minimum of five rounds to West Africa in November.

Deal between State Department and Phoenix Air Ambulances is Still a Mystery

There has been no clarity about the agreement between Phoenix Air and State Department. Earlier, the State Department had cancelled the contract it had with the private air ambulance service provider. It is believed that a new agreement was in the works but the officials have refrained from making a public announcement about it. For the rescue workers in West Africa, however, the fact that two air ambulances are now at their service is comforting news.

Ebola and State Dept. Handling of Medical Flight Contract: Did Things Go Wrong?

Did you know that the US State Department and CDC had been maintaining air ambulances with high-tech infection containment systems since about a decade? Sounds like great preparedness to transport patients when contagious diseases like Ebola hit us, doesn’t it? Here’s the catch. When the actual Ebola epidemic took the world by surprise, these medical necessities were packed up in a warehouse in Georgia.

What is the Containment System in the Medical Flight All About?

The containment structure that looks like a tent is called the Aeromedical Biological Containment System. Today, it is used by Phoenix Air, which transports Ebola patients from West Africa. The containment system was designed between 2007 and 2010 taking the SARS scare into consideration. CDC and Phoenix Air had designed the system so that it can fit into a medical flight.

Supposedly, $15 million were paid to the company, mostly as retainer fee between 2005 and 2011. The idea was that the modified medical flight could be used during epidemic emergencies. It was fitted to a Gulfstream jet air ambulance. The medical flight service was kept on standby so that it can be put into action on a moment’s notice.

Why was the Medical Flight with Containment System not put into Use on Time?

The containment unit was not used after it was designed as there was never a necessity. So, ultimately, CDC decided that paying a retainer amount to Phoenix Air was an unnecessary expense and the containment system was shelved in 2011. More intriguing was the fact that no inquiries were made about the equipment that can be fitted to the medical flight even when the Ebola scare had risen to epic proportions and several American rescue workers were fighting the virus in West Africa. It was only in August that this medical flight was brought back into action.

The medical flight is currently on a 24/7 alert. It is believed that evacuations have been more than three a month on average. Although the reasons given for the delay in bringing the medical flight service back have varied across different government departments and CDC, the return has been a welcome one for the Americans fighting Ebola in West Africa.

More than $100,000 Raised for Air Ambulance Transportation of Canadian Couples

It’s sad when tragedy strikes during the most joyous moments of our lives. Unfortunately, this was how events unfolded for this loving Canadian couple, a mere 6 days after their wedding. Lihsuan and Peter Ingram had chosen Columbia, South America, for their honeymoon where Lihsuan suddenly developed intracranial brain hemorrhage for no apparent reason on 16th of November.

The Hope for Affording Air Ambulance Transport Rests with Contributions Now

While Peter had to grapple with this unforeseen tragedy, he is also now faced with raising money for treatment and evacuating her back to their hometown in Canada through an international air ambulance service. With insurance not covering much of the estimated $164,000 medical expense including the air ambulance service, the friends and family of the couple have turned to crowd funding. Initially, they were able to come up with $20,000, which did not even come close to covering the expense.

The crowd funding initiative is also being promoted on social media like Facebook and Twitter by the well wishers of the couple. So far, they have raised close to $125,000. Over 2000 supporters have come forward with monetary support so far with amounts ranging from $10 to in excess of $500.

It is Wise to Know Your Air Ambulance Transport Coverage in Advance

According to Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, in excess of 95% of the claims in the country were accepted last year, amounting to about $138 million. It is always good to know your air ambulance transport coverage and enhance it with additional coverage purchase when travelling abroad, especially when travelling to countries where healthcare is not so great.

With Peter’s and Lihsuan’s case, however, they’ve been lucky to have had caring family members and friends who have gone all out to help them so that they can afford the care and air ambulance transport cost, and of course, one cannot forget the contribution of the 2000 donations that they’ve received so far. It is hoped that they would be able to raise the target amount soon so that they can return safely back home.

This Innovative US Air Ambulance Company uses Simulation for Training

EagleMed, a US Air Ambulance company, has come up with an innovative method to train its clinical practitioners through a Mobile Air Medical Education Unit. The unit is capable of simulating the medical operations that are present inside the air ambulance company’s choppers and airplanes. The unit is trailer-based and efficiently reproduces the environment inside the air ambulance organization’s choppers and airplanes. The training simulator has been designed in conjunction with Gaumard Scientific and CAE, Inc.

The US Air Ambulance Company’s Simulator is Highly Advanced

The training simulator has not come cheap and has cost the company about $250,000. The simulated patients can replicate real-life medical emergencies. The blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing pattern and symptoms of the simulated patients can be manipulated through computers. The trailer is about 24 foot long and can create real-life-like situations inside medical choppers and airplanes. EagleMed owns a total of 20 ambulance airplanes and 14 choppers. The simulator can generate situations for cardiac and trauma care, along with real-life medical emergencies. The US air ambulance company plans to take the training trailer to facilities throughout the nation, which number more than 30. It estimates that the whole exercise would take about a year.

EagleMed is a Leader among US Air Ambulance Service Providers

The company claims to be the country’s “largest air medical transport membership network.” What is more interesting, however, is the fact that EagleMed has received numerous awards for its dedication to air medical transport safety. It has reached Level 3 in FAA Safety Management System and has been accredited by CAMTS which is held in high esteem by international air ambulance sector. It has also received Platinum Rating by ARGUS International previously. The US air ambulance company is recognized by FAA.

It is heartening to find a US air ambulance company that is highly dedicated to patient and crew safety, especially in light of the recent hue and cry being raised about medical air transport safety.

India Set to Join the International Air Ambulance Scene

It seems like international air ambulance scene is fast evolving. After the most populated country in the world, China, adopted air ambulances, it is now the turn of the second most populous country in the world, India, to do so. Recent reports have suggested that India would soon get a nationwide air ambulance service. The signing of a tripartite agreement between India-based Aviators Air Rescue and the US-based Air Medical Group Holdings and Airbus Helicopters has marked the beginning of the new service which could certainly have a positive impact on the international air ambulance scenario.

A Huge Country like India Demands Several Air Ambulances

The air ambulance service providers have recognized the fact that they would need to have a good reach for the venture to be successful. Initially, three EC135 T3/P3 choppers would be put into action. The plan is to increase the fleet by 11 choppers a year. The services will initially be limited to the southern Indian states. The expectation is to cover the entire country within three years of commencement of air ambulance services. The venture is slated to take off by the end of 2015.

There is an Effort to Make Air Ambulance Services Affordable

There has been a concerted effort on the part of air ambulance service providers to take the services to the not-so-rich people of India. Efforts are being made to tie up with hospitals throughout the country and more importantly, health insurance providers. Of course, people would have to purchase the additional coverage to avail the services. The aim is to make the additional insurance cover affordable to common man in India. The initial investment on the three choppers has been about $60 million. The air ambulance service providers, however, will not be compromising on quality of medical services. Each air medical flight would be operated by two pilots along with two qualified medical crew members.

These Kids Payback Air Ambulance Services in their Own Way

It seems like kids are showing the way to adults in UK when it comes to repaying with gratitude for the life-saving air ambulance services they receive. Leading the way is Jayden Butcher, the six-year-old boy of Field Way, Chalfont St Peter, UK. This young tot has raised over 2000 pounds for a charity that provides air ambulance services in the region. The boy’s uncle was recently helped by the air ambulance service when he met with a motorcycle crash. Jayden who studies at Thorpe House School, Gerrards Cross, raised the money by swimming for 200 meters. The air ambulance charity has in turn acknowledged the kid’s effort by awarding him the Outstanding Young Person award which was presented to him by his school head master.

This Young Racer Recovers from Crash to Repay the Charity Air Ambulance Services

Thomas Ashdown, the young gun from Barrow had participated in mini stock car racing where he met with an unfortunate accident. Thanks to the local charity air ambulance services, he was immediately shifted to a medical facility as he complained of back and neck injury. Twelve-year-old Thomas’ vehicle had been rearended by another racer which had flung his car in the air. Thomas, on his part, though seemed to have enjoyed his air ambulance ride thoroughly, as his only regret was lying down during the entire episode. The boy along with his mother raised 250 pounds for North West Air Ambulance Services. The money had been raised at the Soccer Bar through a Halloween-themed night.

The Attitude Will Help UK’s Air Ambulance Services Greatly

UK is one country that has several charity-run air ambulance services. Most of the time, they have to depend on donations and when people come forward and raise money a token of gratitude, it really helps them financially, not to mention the feeling of appreciation they get.

This Air Ambulance Paramedic has been Part of Over 2000 Rescues

Mark Fuszard has been among the many unsung heroes who don’t think twice before risking their lives to save someone else’s, but not any longer – at least not Mark Fuszard. This air ambulance paramedic has been the recipient of National Paramedic of the Year Award recently, which was held in London, UK. The award was presented during the Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence ceremony. The event is organized each year by UK’s Association of Air Ambulances.

The Air Ambulance Awards Ceremony had All the Bling

The event saw celebrities such as Louise Minchin who hosts the BBC Breakfast and also Robert Llewellyn of the Red Dwarf fame. The grand event saw over 250 guests and was celebrated in style. Mark Fuszard has been part of Cornwall Air Ambulance (a charity) and has been one of its longest serving crewmembers, being with it for over eight years, participating in over 2000 rescues. During the event, Mark received accolades not only for his huge number of rescues but also his dedication to serve the sector beyond the call of duty. It is estimated that he has raised over 25,000 pounds for Cornwall Air Ambulance over the years that he has been part of it.

This Air Ambulance Expert is Also an Adrenaline Junkie

Skydiving is just one of Mark’s many interests. He has taken part in extreme adventure events to raise money and has been a regular at that. He has participated in the London Marathon, Namib Desert Ultra Marathon, and hopes to be part of an ultra-marathon soon. Last year, he had been part of 6633 Arctic Challenge but could not complete it due to an injury sustained during the event. If you thought Mark is an overachiever, wait until you read this. He also organizes training sessions on a regular basis for lifeguards of the region so that they can efficiently coordinate with air ambulance crewmembers during emergencies. With all these achievements to his name, Mark is definitely a worthy recipient of the award.

REVA Air Ambulance Acquires American Care Air Ambulance

In its continuing bid to expand its services, REVA Air Ambulance, which is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has now acquired American Care Air Ambulance. The move has given further boost to REVA which is already the biggest dedicated fix-wing air ambulance company in the Americas.

American Care Air Ambulance is a company that had been operating out of San Diego, California as well as Spokane, Washington, since the past 19 years. The company had been actively managed by Milan Floribus and his wife Joan along with Judy Wilson and Jon Rosati. The company was established in the year 1994. It has medical directors in USA, Asia, Europe, and Mexico.

The Acquisition has Given REVA Air Ambulance Bigger Wings

The acquisition of American Care Air Ambulance Services has propelled REVA Air Ambulance into being a company that has a very strong presence in the United States as well as Asia. The move makes it a worldwide air ambulance service provider in the true sense. The acquisition has enabled REVA Air Ambulance to own more than 10 aircrafts that can operate through 5 bases. REVA has already been successfully covering regions such as Asia, Europe, South America, and North America.

The Acquisition of American Care Air Ambulance has been Smooth

The founder of American Care Air Ambulance Services, Milan Floribus, would continue to be part of the company. In fact, Stuart Hayman, who is the CEO of REVA Air Ambulance, expressed his joy in having Milan onboard. He further expressed his hope that REVA would be able to continue to care for the loyal client base of American Care Air Ambulance Services. On his part, Milan Floribus revealed that he was happy about the acquisition as REVA is an organization that is dedicated to patient safety and professionalism. The CEO of REVA has revealed that the company would be looking for further acquisitions and partnerships in the days to come.

FAA Confirms the Date for Air Ambulance Safety Rule Implementation

After several delays, the Federal Aviation Administration has finally confirmed that the new air ambulance safety rules will go into effect from April 22, 2015. The date allows enough time for the various air ambulance companies to conform to the safety standards set by the FAA. Currently, FAA recognizes about 75 air ambulance companies that operate over 1500 choppers throughout the country. The announcement was publically made on November 3, 2014. FAA justified the delay in giving the confirmation by saying it wanted to make sure that it gave a fair amount of time to the air ambulance companies to comply with the new rules.

The FAA Rules have been Aimed at Air Ambulance Crew Safety

Numerous recent studies have pointed out the fact that being part of air ambulance crews is among the most dangerous jobs in the world. Added to this, there has been a spate of air ambulance accidents over the last decade. The expert opinions too have pointed to inadequacies such as lack of night vision apparatus for pilots and the fact that there is currently no adequate weather monitoring and communication system. All this is set to change once the new rules come into play. It is widely hoped that the dwindling confidence of crews will get a new elixir of life with the implementation of FAA rules in April next year.

FAA’s Progress with Regards to Air Ambulance Safety Rules was Well Monitored

The audit of FAA’s progress was being audited as early as late last year, 2013. The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General was believed to be on the case. According to the department’s office, about 400,000 patients are transported through air ambulance services each year. They had also recognized that fact that, most of the times, the conditions in which an air ambulance has to operate are less than ideal. The fatalities were at an all-time high in 2008-2009. It is expected that the Office of Inspector General would audit the implementation of rules sometime in 2015.

The Utility of Medical Flights Gets Credence by NCBI

National Center for Biotechnology Information, popularly referred to as NCBI is a premier American institution that analyzes the credence of claims pertaining to medicine through scientific publications (among other things). NCBI’s online publication wing PubMed has recently published a review about the importance of medical flights. The review about medical flights was also published in Canadian Journal of Surgery. The publication goes on to prove through real-time research and statistical surveys that critical patients are more likely to survive when transported through medical flights.

Underlining the Importance of Medical Flights

The publication states that transport of injured patients through medical flights is important because of the increasing number of patients and the limited number of trauma centers. It also cites inadequate subspecialty coverage in most hospitals that do not have trauma services. The logic here is that medical flights can provide timely medical transportation to patients and get them the right care before it is too late.

The Monitoring of Medical Flights was Extensive

In accordance with the high standards set by researches that are published in NCBI, data of 14,440 patients over a period of 10 years were monitored. These patients were divided by the modes of transport that were chosen. In other words, patients who were transported through medical flights and other means were chosen and outcomes were compared. The severity of injury, mortality and interventions received were considered.

At the end of the extensive study, it was definitively concluded that patients transported through medical flights had a remarkably better shot at survival and required lesser interventions. For instance, people who had suffered penetrative injuries such as stabbing got proper care and facilities on time. This resulted in lesser loss of blood, requiring smaller blood transfusions. Naturally, the complications were also reduced. Fewer patients needed admissions to intensive care units or operating rooms when compared to those transported through other modes of transport.

The data was gathered from Grady Memorial Hospital’s trauma service in Atlanta. The review of medical flights and their role in patient survival was conducted by several doctors belonging to various prestigious medical institutions of Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia.