Common Questions About Air Ambulance Services
Aren’t all air ambulances the same; how do I choose?
All air ambulance companies are not the same. Some “air ambulance companies” are brokers who advertise in the Yellow Pages as an air ambulance company (perfectly legal). They do not, however, own or maintain any air ambulance airplanes or employ their own clinical staff. They do not pay any aircraft insurance. They use the lowest bid to maximize their markup. You will not be in direct contact with the operator who will be providing the medical air transport service and you won’t be able to verify their qualifications directly. This might be adequate for some people, but not for Critical Care Medflight. Accountability should always be the main consideration. Insist that each company document their legitimacy. If their name does not appear on their FAA 135 certificate and/or on their insurance certificate, ask questions.
How experienced is the crew?
Our flight and medical crews are some of the most experienced air ambulance specialists in the industry. For the flight crews, our pilots and co-pilots have literally thousands of hours to their credit (they must have 2500 flight hours to become a captain at Critical Care Medflight). Our medical crew has decades of emergency medicine experience and are all certified in their field. Before new flight nurses can fly with us, they are required to have a minimum of 5 years experience in the ER, ICU or CCU of an accredited facility. You are in good hands with our crew. We are the professionals.
Is it OK for a family memeber to fly with the patient?
Absolutely! For no additional charge, we can accommodate a limited number of family members and baggage on board. In fact, we encourage it because it aids us in patient care. It is always good for the air ambulance patient to see a familiar face during the medical flight.
What is included in your service?
Critical Care Medflight specializes in “bed to bed” transport. One call to Critical Care Medflight and everything will be handled. We will dispatch the appropriate air ambulance specialists, equipment and supplies to come to the patient’s bedside and provide continual care all the way to the bed at the destination. If you like, our price will include the cost of the ground ambulances on either or both ends of the trip.
What is “Bedside-to-Bedside” care?
Simply put, Bedside-to-Bedside care is how we describe your medical air transport. We handle everything. The actual flight medical person calls to speak with the caregiver for a current status on the patient. The ground ambulance crew is dispatched to pick the patient up and transport to the predetermined location of the airplane. The patient is transferred to the medically configured aircraft and transported, by air, to the destination city. Medical Air Specialists are on board to attend to the patient’s every medical need during the flight. The ground ambulance will be scheduled to be waiting for the aircraft to land. At that time, the medical crews make the transition to the ground unit and the patient is taken directly to the bed in the receiving facility. We handle all coordination and details from the bed that the patient is in to the patient’s bed at the receiving facility. Let the professionals handle everything!
What sort of things should I take with me?
Take whatever makes you comfortable. That might be sleepwear, a toothbrush, a book. For a child, perhaps a favorite toy or stuffed animal. To help in keeping things simple, please limit what you take to one standard size, soft-sided carry on bag. If you need to get other items to the receiving facility, we are happy to help with the shipping arrangements.
Why do they call it an “air ambulance” isn’t it just a plane?
Not at all! Think of it as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that flies. Inside, the air ambulance custom interior includes a full complement of state-of-the-art Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) equipment. Professionally trained and certified medical flight personnel staff each plane. All of our planes have on-board medical oxygen, medical pneumatic systems, 110v power, defibrillators, IV pumps, monitoring equipment, a custom stretcher and much more. You are in the hands of the professionals with Critical Care Medflight!
Why not just go in a regular ambulance?
Even with relatively short distances, an air ambulance from Critical Care Medflight could be the best way to transport a patient with special medical needs. The prices are comparable for the most part. Our goal at Critical Care Medflight is to have the patient out of the facilities a minimal amount of time. 45 minutes in an airplane is far superior to 4+ hours in a regular ground ambulance…. every time.
Will my insurance cover this transport?
Many insurance companies recognize the wisdom and efficiency of air ambulance transports. We have full time insurance specialists who do nothing except interface with your insurance company to ferret out the benefit to cover the cost of the transport from bed to bed. To find out if your policy covers such an expense, simply provide us with the pertinent information (policy holder’s name, number and contact) and we will do the rest.