A bit of information on Fixed-Wing Medical Transport, from the Association of Air Medical Services:
When did “Fixed Wing” aircraft begin to be utilized for medical transport?
Fixed Wing aircraft were the first aircraft used in medEvac transport. A medical section of the Army Air Corps was created as early as June 1, 1925 using converted DeHaviland aircraft. Helicopters did not see use as medical transports until 1944.
Why are patients flown by fixed wing?
Patients are flown by fixed wing for many different reasons. These can range from the stable patient involved in an accident, or with a long-term medical condition, wishing to relocate closer to family for rehabilitative care, to the critical heart failure patient requiring intensive care transfer to receive a transplant. The fixed wing environment differs from the rotor wing environment primarily in that fixed wing travels farther, faster and higher. The fixed wing is primarily a facility-to-facility transport, typically long distance in nature.
Secondly, there are typically more choices of different types of aircraft, and selections that are less expensive per mile and/or per hour to operate. With licensure and accreditation standards available and easily verifiable, the care provided in the fixed wing environment is the same as the helicopter. The fixed wing is typically not in competition with the rotor wing in that the rotor wing service typically is for moving a patient from a scene to a primary care facility, or a tertiary care facility to a primary care facility.
Who can request a medEvac transport?
Physicians, Nurses, Pre-hospital personnel, Law Enforcement and any other personnel determined by state or local protocols.
What are the types of medical conditions for which patients are flown?Trauma, medical (seizure, pulmonary, etc) spinal, burn, pediatric, replant, neonate, organ procurement, High risk OB, non-trauma neuro, and cardiac.
*AirMed Aircraft are under a separate membership.