Understanding The Basics Of Air Ambulance Transportation

Air ambulances are a vital part of emergency medicine because they provide a means to transport patients with serious injuries who need to reach the hospital quickly and with critical care. If your child or family member is being transported by air ambulance after an accident or injury, there are a few things that you need to know. Here are a couple of the things that you should keep in mind when it comes to air ambulance transportation.

You Aren't Usually The One To Decide 

When it comes to air ambulance travel, you aren't usually the one who will decide if an air ambulance is warranted. Unlike a traditional ambulance, which you can call by reaching out to your local emergency service, air ambulances are specialized transportation, and they are only dispatched when they are medically needed.

That means that an emergency responder at the scene of the accident or the doctor treating the patient will usually make the call to have an air ambulance dispatched for patient transportation. Talk with the person in charge at the scene or the primary care provider for your loved one to find out if an air ambulance is going to be necessary.

Insurance Might Cover It

Because air ambulance transport is often called for as a result of a critical situation, your insurance might cover the cost of it as a medically necessary service. However, there are some health insurance policies that may not include coverage for this type of transportation. In those situations, you may need to file an appeal later to have it classified as medically necessary so that it will be covered. The determining physician will be able to make the declaration that it was required to help you get it paid.

You May Be Able To Travel With The Patient

Everyone's seen the movies where people are turned away from helicopter transportation because there wasn't room on the helicopter for them to travel along. When it comes to an air ambulance, you'll typically be able to travel along with the patient, especially if the patient is your child. In most cases, there is enough capacity for one or two additional adults to travel with the medical crew and the patient, but you'll have to ask while they are on the ground.

Keep in mind, as well, that you may be denied a ride-along if the patient's condition prohibits you from traveling with them. Those situations are uncommon, though, and most crews prefer to have a family member travel along because it helps to keep the patient calm and more at ease.

The more you understand about air ambulance transportation, the easier it is to manage it, should you find yourself in this situation. No matter why your loved one is being transported, understanding the basics can help you address the situation.