Emergency Medical Transportation Can Save Your Life

...But it could cost you thousands

How Does a Medevac Really Unfold?

Medevac is a word we frequently hear in Alaska, but you may have questions about what it means, the process behind it, and how it affects your family. For many, it is a defining life-moment. Let’s take a look at a medevac scenario:

You and your family have just finished dinner and a movie when you husband complains of indigestion that is progressing into chest pain. Knowing the importance of acting quickly, you call 911 and he is transported to the closest ER of clinic. Tests are performed and the medical staff decides he needs to be transported to a higher level of care. The local clinician will speak with the patient and family members to ensure complete understanding.

Upon patient arrival, the local clinician will find the nearest appropriate facility (this being the nearest facility capable of providing the care needed for the patient) and inform a physician at this facility of the patient’s current condition. They will then likely request that this physician accept the patient at their facility. Once the receiving facility and physician have been decided, the local clinician will call for a medevac and inform the in-flight medical crew of the patient’s condition, as well as where the patient is being transported to. When the pilots and medical crew accept the flight (this usually takes no more than 10 minutes from the time of call) they will depart for the patient’s destination. Once the medevac crew arrives at the sending facility, the medical crew will introduce themselves to the patient and family as well as discuss the updated medical condition with the local clinician. In most cases, one family member will be permitted to travel with the patient on=board the medevac aircraft to the receiving facility.

At this point, care will be transferred from the local clinician to the medevac crew. Transport from the local facility to the aircraft will take place via ground ambulance. Medevac aircraft are set up like a flying hospital ready to provide nearly any care necessary along with a satellite phone connection so the medevac crew can speak with a physician for advice at any time. Upon arrival at the receiving location, the medevac crew will have an ambulance waiting to transport the patient and the medical crew.

The medevac crew provides bedside-to-bedside care and will travel with the patient to the hospital. The receiving facility has previously been notified about the arrival of the patient and is prepared to administer the higher level of care necessary. The medevac crew will update all receiving facility staff about the condition of the patient and provide any additional assistance possible.

A medevac can happen extremely quickly and to anyone. When it does, the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re going to pay for these costs. If you and your family are Apollo MT by Guardian Flight members, you won’t have to worry about the costs associated with emergency air medical transportation. You can just focus on the medical care you or your family member needs.

We applaud you for wanting to be informed and making good preparations. Community education is at the heart of what we do, for our Apollo MT by Guardian Flight clients. Let’s all hope this does not happen in our own household.

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