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Taking to the skies.

Authors
  • Blumen, I J
  • Gordon, R S
Type
Published Article
Journal
Emergency
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1989
Volume
21
Issue
11
Identifiers
PMID: 10295823
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The role of Helicopter EMS must be to improve patient care and/or to ensure the most rapid transport of critically ill or injured patients. It has been suggested by Rhee et al, that the aeromedical service can be justified when the speed of the helicopter transport, the skills of the medical crew, and/or the ability of the helicopter to overcome environmental obstacles is likely to contribute to improved patient outcome. If one adds the essentials of well-trained, professional personnel and equipment, the "helicopter" becomes an important part of the overall medical care system and an essential component in improving patient outcome. While reviewing the role of the HEMS, it cannot be sufficiently emphasized that such a service in no way replaces an established ground ambulance system. A proficient, well-trained and well-equipped ground EMS program remains the backbone of an efficient pre-hospital and interhospital system. HEMS cannot be viewed as an isolated component of any EMS system. Instead, it must serve to complement the existing resources of the community. These is sufficient literature to suggest that the use of air medical services in transporting patients to tertiary care facilities or trauma centers has led to an improvement in overall survival rates. At the same time, an apparent paradox in mortality rate has occurred at the receiving hospital. While more patients are saved by speedy transport to a hospital, the mortality rate in that hospital may actually increase. Some patients who may have died from their injuries at the scene, or in transit, now die upon admission.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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