Whether you’re trying to figure out if you actually need medical air transportation, need help choosing a provider, or are just curious about how to pay for services, these air ambulance do’s and don’ts will help guide you through the process.
Do You Need Air Transportation?
You’ve probably already figured out that not all situations are appropriate for air transport. In fact, most of the time it’s pretty obvious when a traditional ambulance will suit your needs. However, at other times, this decision can be a bit more complicated.
It’s always a good idea to call and speak with an emergency medical professional to determine which form of transportation is right for you, but here are some general guidelines:
- If there is not a life threatening emergency
- In cases where medical facilities are nearby
- Individuals who may have whiplash
- Broken bones
- Minor skin lacerations
- Travel time will be less than 30 minutes
- The patient’s condition is critical
- The hospital is far away
- Individuals involved in severe car crashes
- Injuries with significant blood loss
- Serious heart conditions
- The individual needs an organ transplant
- Travel time will be greater than 30 minutes
Do’s & Don’ts
DO: Call ahead first. If you’re situation isn’t listed above, a medical professional can help you decide.
DON’T: Try to assess the severity of your injuries on your own! Always trust the opinions of medical experts and first responders.
Choosing a Provider
Selecting an air ambulance provider can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of factors to consider such as: safety practices, professional qualifications, and even the level of care the company is able to provide.
A good rule of thumb is to choose providers that are centrally located near major airports or large cities. That way, logistical problems can be avoided, and travel times optimized for efficiency.
You may also want to inquire about company policies regarding additional passengers and pets, all of which should be ironed out in advance allowing you to make additional arrangements if necessary.
In the end, the final decision will be based on your own particular circumstances, but should leave you feeling confident that the company can provide superior care.
Do’s & Don’ts
DO: Look at factors like safety, qualifications, and level of care. Each company has their own standards and guidelines.
DO: Ask about extra passenger & pet policies upfront. You’ll want to have plenty of time to make other arrangements if you have to.
DON’T: Choose companies far away from major airports or cities. Adding unnecessary travel time can negate the benefits of air transportation.
DON’T: Pick a company that leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling. If you feel this way now, there’s no reason to believe you’ll feel differently later.
How to Pay for the Services
The company can help you determine how to pay for the services. Sometimes insurance will cover this type of transportation. In other cases, you may be expected to cover the expenses on your own. Soliciting quotes from multiple vendors is a good way to avoid getting ripped off.
Do’s & Don’ts
DO: Ask the flight director if the services will be covered by your insurance.
DO: Get multiple quotes. Many companies offer fast quotes online that can save you time.
DON’T: Get ripped off by just taking the company’s word for expenses. Talk to your insurance provider, too.
DON’T: Make the mistake of trying to figure out these details after the fact. By then, you can find yourself with a financial emergency!
Now you should have a good idea about how to figure out if you actually need medical air transportation, how to go about choosing a provider, and what you need to do in order to pay for these services.