There are times when a critical incident occurs that the services of an air ambulance may mean the difference between life and death. A medevac ambulance is a type of service that provides critical care for those who have been severely injured or who are significantly ill and need expert care and transport.
A medevac, sometimes also spelled as a “medivac,” is a type of air ambulance that works in critical situations. It is so named because of its job, which is to provide medical evacuation for patients and to get them from the scene to a higher level of care. A medevac is often used as a helicopter, although some medevac services may also use fixed-wing planes. Medevacs may also be associated with the military, as medevac helicopters have historically been used during combat to transport injured patients, getting them out of dangerous zones to receive medical care.
When an accident occurs, a medevac may be dispatched to the scene. The personnel on board are highly-trained paramedics and nurses who have experience in trauma and medevac service and who have supplies used to stabilize patients. Once available, nurses from the medevac work to stabilize the patient by maintaining his breathing and circulation and controlling significant injuries until he can be brought to a hospital.
The time it takes to stabilize a patient and prepare him for medevac transport may vary. Once the patient is placed onto the backboard, he is transferred into the medevac unit for evacuation. The medevac then takes off to transport the patient to a hospital equipped to handle trauma. The nurses and paramedics also have equipment on board the medevac to sustain the patient while in flight. The medevac aircraft remains in communication with the receiving hospital, so that the facility can be prepared. Upon arrival, the medevac must have a landing zone, which is a place for the aircraft to land before transferring the patient.
The work of nurses on medevac flights is challenging and can be stressful. However, because of continued increases in technology and communication, personnel aboard a medevac have more tools than ever to save lives through this heroic system.