Medevac is relatively an old facility, but the services were exclusive and were used by armed forces mostly. They used civilian EMS vehicles, civilian aeromedical helicopter services, and Army air ambulances.
The first medical transport by air was recorded in Serbia in the year 1915 during the First World War.
Milan Rastislav Štefánik, a Slovak pilot-volunteer, one of the ill soldier was the first person who was flown to safety by French aviator Louis Paulhan.
During World War II, the United States Army used this lifesaving technique in Burma with Sikorsky R-4B helicopters. It was a perilous mission whereby the pilot had to land in the enemy territory secretly and air-lift the injured British soldiers back for medical treatment. The first medevac, under fire, was done in Manila in 1945 when five pilots evacuated 75-80 soldiers each time carrying 1-2 soldiers.
The first recorded British ambulance flight took place in 1917 in the Sinai peninsula. The flight took 45 minutes whereby the same journey could have taken three days; saved precious time for the injured soldier.
Early in the 1920’s several aeromedical services, both official and unofficial started up in various parts of the world. Aircraft were still not built with the advanced technique at the time, with limited capabilities, and the efforts it received mixed reviews.
With the advancement in technology and science, the idea of Medevac services too grew. Armed forces continue to develop their aeromedical ambulances, and it was regularly used during the colonial wars. Mainly the British and the French armed forces used these air ambulances for repatriation of their war wounded soldiers.
Today, Medevac services are provided by several service provider’s which are privately run by many companies and are providing excellent services and catering to the needs of the patients who need immediate medical evacuation for getting better treatment for life threatening diseases or those who require to be shifted to better medical facilities for critical medical conditions.
Morbid obesity is one such case whereby the person mostly requires to be airlifted by using Medevac services. Morbid obesity is defined as an excess of body fat; 100 pounds over ideal body weight. Accidents happen even to morbidly obese people, who then become patients in a healthcare facility or some obese patient may require to be airlifted to other medical facilities as the facility whereby the patient has been admitted may not have the capabilities to treat the bariatric patient effectively.
One such patient Zafar, who required to undergo bariatric surgery in the USA, was repatriated using Medevac facility provided by HI-Flying service from Dubai to a facility in the USA. Zafar wanted to undergo gastric bypass surgery. Although Dubai has world-class healthcare center’s, his family was keen that they fly to the US, Mayo Clinic and avail their services as it has the enormous experience to treat such patients. Also, the patient was suffering from several health disorders like diabetes, breathlessness due to excessive obesity. The family was ready to spend as much as required for getting him treated at a better medical facility.
What is Morbid Obesity in general?
Morbid obesity is a serious health condition that results from an abnormally high body mass index. A person with morbid obesity may have difficulty performing daily functions, such as walking, breathing and performing daily chores and is at a higher risk for many serious health problems.
The person has body weight 100 pounds more than the ideal body weight and BMI between 35 to 40.
Obesity affects at least one-third of the US population, and so the facilities that provide medical attention to such patients are enormous in the USA. There is an influx of many patients to the USA for getting treatment related to bariatric surgery.
Air transportation of bariatric obese patients could present more significant challenges for the team on-board. The process requires skilled and trained personnel and could pose problems to the team who are not experienced to handle such cases. The needs of transporting these patients are relatively different.
The logistic needs for bariatric obese patients differ from other patients. The dimensions of the aircraft, therefore, need to be fit for easy loading of such patients. On-boarding of such patients may require aircraft with more full doors. It is also imperative to have a proper loading system, such as a loading ramp for on-loading and off-loading the patient. The process should be smooth with less hassle to the crew and the patient in general.
The stretcher should be efficient enough to go bedside with the patient and should, therefore, have monitoring equipment attached to the stretcher itself for smooth patient transport.
Also, the patient being in a less mobile state may feel discomfort and pain at times. So there should be excessive padding available to the stretchers used for transportation of such patient’s
Hi- Flying has years of experience in transporting patients with various health problems, patient’s transported under ventilated condition. They arrange for safe air transportation, with the required facilities within 24-hour intimation.
Hi-Flying Medevac facilities:
In case of a Medevac service availed, Medical evacuation is carried out on an Air Ambulance flight like a Learjet Gulfstream or Citation jet happens in a well equipped and safe environment.
The patient is accommodated in a specially fitted stretcher, secured to the cabin floor like passenger seats, with a mattress, linens, pillows, blankets and safety restraint.
The base of the stretcher is equipped with 7000 liters of oxygen the vacuum suction, the air compressor to blend air with oxygen in the ventilator and the electrical inverter to supply electrical power to all life saving medical equipment. All medical equipment have internal batteries as back-up. The Flight Medical Team is a combination of Doctor Nurse, a team of two Registered Nurses, Paramedics and Respiratory Therapists based on the patient clinical status and per the requirements of the particular case.
The team is experienced to handle an emergency like this. All Flight Medical Team members are qualified in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
Medevac services are provided in locations whereby there is any medical emergency like a crash or natural calamity or any emergency political situation has arrived.
The Medical Director himself supervises the entire process for critical cases like this.
The staff is well trained, the Air Ambulance is well equipped with the best and modern equipment’s required for air transporting of a patient like Oxygen cylinder, Ventilator, emergency medical kits, commercial medical stretcher.
Two members of the Medical Team care for a patient, usually a Registered Nurse and Paramedic. Physicians and Respiratory Therapists are assigned to patient care by request or based on Aeromedevac medical protocols.
The tie-up list with commercial airlines for transfers of patients is enormous.
They have extensive and exclusive tie-ups with the hospitals as well.
Most importantly, they provide services which are also pocket-friendly for the patient. They offer packages based on the situation and on the basis of a particular case study.
Hi Flying allows a relative of the patient to fly free with no additional charges incurred.
Their expert team seamlessly does the paperwork involved in transportation with no burden on the family members, who can then wholly focus on the well-being and up-keep of the patient.
Zafar and one of his attending relative from Dubai were air transported to the USA urgently. Other family members transportation were arranged on a commercial flight on a priority basis by the expert team of Hi-Flying. Patient being in a critical situation and faced difficulty for breathing, ventilation facility was arranged and patient safely reached the facility in the USA right on time.
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