pnqiad
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 5:05 am

How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:35 am

A colleague of a friend of mine was in coma and was flown from US to India using air ambulance service. From what I was told - this was basically on a commercial flight (don't know what airline) and the patient's brother also flew on the same flight with a purchased ticket.

The cost of this transport was about USD 60,000.

How do airlines use regular commercial planes for "air ambulance" type service? Is there a designated area in the under carriage that can be converted to one suitable for such a transport? Or is it just a set of seats removed/blocked? 60K is a looooooooot of money - must be a pretty profitable one for airlines to do this.

thanks,
 
EI787
Posts: 1230
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:06 am

RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:40 am

Yeah, basically what they do is fold down a block of seats and the stretcher is attached on top, along with all necessary medical equipment etc.

I remember seeing it on the BBC programme 'Airport'.

Hope that helps!
 
flyaas80
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:47 am

RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:40 am

I have a physician colleague that works for AEROCARE here in the United States. He has flown several times on commercial carriers such as LH where they have certain aircraft that has seats removed then enclosed to create a flying intensive care unit. Such as a patient flown back from the US to Japan on a ventilator. I know there is a pic of this online and will try to hunt it down...
The only way to fly is by the seat of your pants...
 
flyaas80
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:47 am

RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:58 am

Alright... I have a link and pic to a website that discusses medical transport with LH and their 747-400.

http://www.aerocare.com/NewsViewPic.asp?NewsID=23
The only way to fly is by the seat of your pants...
 
Leezyjet
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:26 am

RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:03 am

Quoting FlyAAS80 (Reply 3):
Alright... I have a link and pic to a website that discusses medical transport with LH and their 747-400

Wow never seen that before. I've seen the stretcher ontop of the seats, but never anything like that. That must really screw with the airlines ops department when scheduling the a/c as I'm sure it must take a good few hours to install and remove one of those units.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
flyaas80
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:47 am

RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:14 am

And here is the article that goes along with the pic from my last post...

http://www.aerocare.com/newsdetails.asp?NewsID=23
The only way to fly is by the seat of your pants...
 
pnqiad
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 5:05 am

RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:01 am

Pretty incredible... thanks for the info.
 
usflt1778
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 4:43 am

RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:15 pm

I used to work for a medical assistance company that coordinated both commercial and private aircraft medical flights. Commercial transport was feasible if there was plenty of time to coordinate the trip; usually it was for repatriating patients back home after an injury or with those with a serious medical condition. At the time (10 years ago) the only US carriers that allowed stretchers were TWA and NW, and only on their international flights. We did a lot of work with Swissair, BA, LH and AF as they were much more accommodating. Medical clearance from most airlines takes several days to obtain, and the cost is very high: typically payment for 6 economy seats for the stretcher plus a seat for each medical escort at full fare is required, plus the stretcher kit, oxygen, etc. And very often the person would require additional transport from the international gateway to their home city by private air ambulance. And, you need to add in the cost of the medical team who are paid hourly from the time they depart home to rendez-vous with the patient, and escort the patient to their destination and then fly back home again.

Use of a private air ambulance for long-haul transport wasn't done as often due to the cost and logistics. However for shorter trips it was more cost effective, and often the only option. We coordinated almost daily flights from Florida to Canada during the snowbird season...Canadian travel insurers preferred to pay $10,000 for an air ambulance back north to free Canadian healthcare instead of paying the $5,000+ per day charges common in US hospitals.
 
777ER
Crew
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RE: How Does Air Ambulance Work?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:24 pm

All Air Ambulance flights get priority landing/take off and a special call sign.
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