FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an air ambulance?
An air ambulance is a dedicated medical rescue and medical transportation aircraft which has a medically equipped interior section of the plane to allow for patient transport on a stretcher. The stretcher is secured to a patient loading and unloading system which is operated by the pilots and by the Air Medical Flight Crew. Inside the air ambulance is electrical power for running medical monitoring equipment, IV pumps, ventilator and cardiac monitor, as well as a large supply of compressed oxygen. When choosing an air ambulance, you should ensure that the plane is dedicated strictly for air ambulance use and that it is specifically equipped and certified for air ambulance use – not for passenger charter, cargo or freight hauling. A mark of quality is a company that dedicates its aircraft strictly for the high standards required for ongoing patient care.
Also on board the air ambulance is an abundance of medical equipment and patient care supplies, including medications, IV infusion supplies, IV pumps, cardiac monitor/defibrillator, blood gas analysis equipment, airway management devices, suction and other medical supplies that are used by trained medical professionals (the Air Medical Crew) to provide life sustaining patient care, critical care ICU medical support, and routine personal care.
How much luggage can we bring on the aircraft?
Our air ambulance can accommodate up to two large pieces of luggage, plus two carry on bags, and two small pets
How do I schedule a medical transport?
Is the air ambulance company accredited?
This is an important and vital question. Air ambulance companies can choose (or choose not to) subject themselves to extensive industry audits by third party auditors. LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services is accredited by EURAMI – the European Air Medical Institute, signaling that we adhere to the highest levels of international standards for excellence in patient care. If the air ambulance company is not accredited by EURAMI or CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation for Medical Transport Systems), they have not subjected themselves to third party audit and validation, thus the consumer or family is taking a chance on “getting what they pay for”. Simply belonging to an industry association is not an audit or sign of quality. The accrediting bodies recognized globally are EURAMI and CAMTS. Only the best, highest quality companies in the world are accredited by CAMTS or EURAMI.
Can the patient’s family members fly along?
Yes, depending on the condition of the patient, we can accommodate up to two family members.
What Types of patients require an air ambulance?
Generally, patients who are confined to a bed and who require ongoing medical care or monitoring, or those patients who must travel long distances.
Our Air Medical Case Managers will individually assess each case to ensure that an air ambulance is appropriate. LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services provides additional services and support to patients who require medical transportation – this could include a long distance ground ambulance transfer, transfer by commercial airline, or transfer by commercial airline stretcher.
One of our Air Medical Case Managers will review all options with you in order to make sure that the most cost-effective, and efficient means of medical transportation are considered, taking into account the clinical care needs of the patient at all times.
How much notice do you need to arrange an air ambulance transfer?
For air ambulance medical transports within Canada and the USA, service is organized on a same day / next day basis. Mexico requires 24 hours to position the aircraft the day before the transport.
What documents are required to travel on an international air ambulance flight?
To travel on our air ambulance internationally, the patient and any travelling companions must hold a valid passport. Documents will be submitted in advance to immigration authorities by our flight planners.
What type of special training does your flight medical staff receive?
The medical team on board our air ambulance are trained to the highest standards of international medical care. As global medical providers to the international travel assistance and travel insurance industry, we adhere to the highest standards of medical care, using the latest medical equipment and technology. LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services is audited and accredited by the European Air Medical Institute, and all of our Flight Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Doctors and Paramedics are specially trained for aviation medicine and for providing critical care medical support in the airborne environment. We fly hundreds of missions each year – ensuring that our patients benefit from our significant global patient care experience.
Does LIFESUPPORT Air Medical services provide international air ambulance service?
Our air ambulances operate between Canada, the USA and Mexico. When patients are travelling internationally or overseas, we leverage our strategic partnerships with key airline partners such as Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines, Air New Zealand and Qantas, just to name a few – in order to fit special patient stretchers on board commercial flights. Using commercial stretchers for international, overseas medical transport is far more cost effective than using an air ambulance, often half of the price. When using commercial airlines, we can still provide the same high level of medical care that would be provided on an air ambulance, with the same medical team and expertise. LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services has special, well developed relationships with global airlines that make this level of service possible – and affordable. When an air ambulance is absolutely necessary, we organize wing-to-wing transfers with our trusted partners.
How do I pay for the Air Ambulance?
We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and bank wire transfers. With pre-approval, we can also direct bill your insurance provider.
Are you a broker?
No. LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services is not a broker. The industry is full of brokers – those that proport to organize air ambulance flights but then subcontract or broker the flight to someone else. We do not engage in this practice – our services are provided directly by LIFESUPPORT Air Medical crews at all times. When working with LIFESUPPORT, you are dealing with us personally and directly from the start of the case until safe arrival.
How much does air ambulance transport cost?
The cost of the air ambulance transport is based on the number of miles that must be flown from point to point, the cost of the medical crew, as well as ground ambulances. Our quotes are all inclusive, bed to bed and are transparent. What you are quoted is what will be charged. There are no hidden fees.
What Costs are included in your quote?
Our comprehensive quotes include everything that is necessary for bed to bed service and care.
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