Assessing When An Air Ambulance Is Necessary

Air ambulances are an important way of helping a person get the help they need to recover from serious illness. When deciding on whether or not one is necessary, it is important to consider speed, cost, and the conditions that are being treated.

Speed Is An Important Factor

Air ambulances are superior to ground-based ambulance vehicles because they can not only drive faster, but take a shorter route. A typical air ambulance can fly at speeds of 150 miles per hour. This is well over the speed an ambulance can average on typical freeways. Even better, flying through the air also makes it unnecessary to follow the routes on the road.

As a result, a trip that could take 150 miles and three hours by ground-based ambulance vehicles may take just 90 miles and less than an hour by air ambulance. Why aren't all ambulance vehicles air-based if they are so fast? Probably because using them is more expensive than traditional ambulance vehicles.

The Cost Must Also Be Considered

Using an air ambulance is not inexpensive, though it is an expense that is often important to consider when a person's life is at risk. For example, those with health insurance are likely to have a copay of about $50-500, depending their insurance costs. Instead of that, they may need to pay a coinsurance rate of 10-50 percent if it reaches their out-of-pocket maximum.

Those without health insurance may have to pay over $2,000 or more for a flight. This may seem prohibitive, but there are many instances in which an air ambulance is absolutely necessary. The use of an air ambulance is required when the conditions that are being treated are serious enough to require immediate and quick transport.

Conditions Should Also Be Considered

When a person is suffering from a serious condition that requires specialist help, air ambulances are required. Situations in which they are useful include:

  • Treating patients who are suffering from respiratory conditions
  • Trauma situations that require help immediately
  • Monitoring intra-cranial conditions
  • Helping obstetric patients
  • Getting a person to a specialist center as soon as possible

These situations typically require specialized care that is more difficult to receive in a ground-based ambulance. They also provide a quicker transport method that gets a person suffering from a delicate health problem the help they need more quickly.

Understanding these situations and conditions is crucial when deciding on an air ambulance. Using one when it is proper can help save a person's life by giving them intensive treatment while being transported and helping them get the fully care they need to survive.