This started in World War I. In Australia the Flying Doctor Service started in 1928. That was not only for emergencies, but also to take doctors to see people who lived in remote places. More recently helicopters have been used in cities for major trauma cases where time matters most, and people need very specialised care, but they are more common in rural areas where there are few people and they are a long way away from hospitals.
Some of these services are run by governments. They are quite expensive. Some are run for profit and in some places they are run as charities. Some businesses pay for them as as a goodwill or public relations gesture.
Large, generally fixed-wing, air ambulances are used by military forces to support overseas combat operations.
Both pilots and medical staff need to be very highly trained. The aircraft are generally equipped for advanced life support. They are very noisy and there is not much space so some medical tests cannot be done. There have been quite a few crashes.
References[change | change source]
- "Air Medical Services: The Evolution of Aircraft as Ambulances - IA MED". www.iamed.com. 2021-03-20. Retrieved 2023-05-01.
- Meier, Barry (2005-02-28). "Crashes Start Debateon Safety of Sky Ambulances". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-05-01.