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Ambulance Vehicles and Air Medical Services Research Paper

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Updated: May 22nd, 2021

Medical workers’ response to an emergency depends on the nature of the injury sustained by a patient, the location of this individual, weather conditions, and many other factors. This paper will examine different modes of transporting a person to a healthcare facility. Much attention should be given to the use of ambulance automobiles and air transportation. In particular, it is necessary to identify the situations when healthcare providers should rely on ambulance vehicles.

Additionally, one should determine when air medical services are more appropriate. This essay will also discuss whether it is better to use and improve ambulance vehicles or air medical services. Overall, hospitals should focus primarily on ambulance vehicles since they are most widely used for transporting patients; however, they should also work on acquiring capabilities for air evacuation; otherwise, the needs of patients cannot be met.

Different Types of Emergencies

In some cases, it is more preferable to use ambulance cars instead of helicopters. Firstly, this argument applies to the situations in which a patient is relatively close to the acute care facility (Selbst, 2014). Under such circumstances, the use of helicopters may not achieve any substantial time savings. It is also important to consider the cases in which the healthcare problems experienced by a patient are not very acute (Low & Hulme, 2014).

For instance, sometimes, an individual may have already received preliminary medical assistance. One should remember that the injuries suffered by a person differ in terms of their urgency. For example, the needs of a person struggling with a significant blood loss are more urgent than the needs of people who only have skin lesions or bruises. In some cases, the decreased speed of transportation does not pose a threat to the life and health of a patient.

Furthermore, very often, the use of vehicles can be the only option available to medical workers. For example, harsh weather conditions can prevent them from using helicopters (Low & Hulme, 2014). Sometimes, there is no opportunity for transporting a person by air because helicopters and airplanes are already being used for the needs of other patients. Thus, healthcare providers have to transport a patient only with the help of vehicles.

However, there are situations in which air medical services are more appropriate. Firstly, this approach is more suitable when healthcare providers have to operate in vast areas. In this case, the speed of helicopters or airplanes can play a critical role in saving the life of a patient. Additionally, sometimes, a patient has to be urgently transported to an advanced medical facility where certain types of surgery can be performed (Cone, Brice, Delbridge, & Myers, 2015). Under such circumstances, any significant delay can have catastrophic effects on the health of a patient.

Secondly, the application of this method is essential when road transportation is disrupted due to some reasons. For instance, it is critical in case of natural disasters like earthquakes and floods that make road transportation impossible (Motomura et al., 2018). Much attention should also be paid to the emergencies taking place in mountainous areas and other places that cannot be easily accessed by cars (Auerbach, Cushing, & Harris, 2016).

It is also possible to mention various combat situations when the use of helicopters is the only possible option. To a great extent, these examples indicate that both vehicles and air transportation may be necessary for the work of healthcare providers. While selecting a mode of transportation, medical workers should take into account various factors such as the location of the patient, the state of his/her health, and availability of resources.

The Choice between Vehicles and Air Evacuation

Hospitals and policy-makers should focus their efforts on the use and improvements of ambulance vehicles. There are several reasons why this strategy appears to be the most optimal one. Firstly, emergencies requiring air evacuation are relatively rare (Cone et al., 2015). In most cases, it is not necessary to use either airplanes or helicopters. By contrast, ambulance cars are used daily. Thus, they are more important for meeting the daily needs of patients.

One should also mention that despite some advantages of air medical services, this option may not be always available to medical workers. As it has been said before, this mode of transportation cannot be selected in case of bad weather conditions (Cameron, Browne, Mitra, Dalziel, & Craig, 2018). In this case, the attempt to use helicopters can only endanger the lives of both patients and medical workers.

Furthermore, the use of vehicles is usually more cost-effective than air medical services. Sometimes, hospitals and communities may not have the financial resources to purchase helicopters or airplanes needed for the evacuation of patients (Cameron et al., 2018). Given these issues, hospital administrators should focus on the use of vehicles. To a large degree, this recommendation is premised on the assumption that the resources of medical institutions are limited. Therefore, managers have to choose those alternatives that can maximize the welfare of patients.

Additionally, other objective factors can make ambulance vehicles more advantageous than air transportation. Firstly, to provide air medical services, healthcare agencies have to incur significant costs on staff training (Galazkowski et al., 2015).

Moreover, hospitals will have to hire pilots who are allowed to fly at night. Each of these tasks requires additional financial resources that medical institutions may not have (Schottke, 2016). Such difficulties do not normally arise when ambulance automobiles are used. Therefore, public administrators should focus their attention on the improvement of ambulance vehicles. This strategy will enable them to ensure more effective use of the funding provided by taxpayers. Moreover, this policy will ensure that hospitals can adequately serve the most pressing needs of patients.

At the same time, one should not forget about the benefits that air medical services can bring. In many cases, this form of transportation is the only method of helping patients who require immediate help. Hence, the use of vehicles and helicopters should not be viewed as two mutually exclusive options. More likely, these approaches should supplement each other; otherwise, the needs of patients may not be adequately served.

To acquire these capabilities, medical institutions have to work together. In particular, they have to estimate the overall annual need for the use of helicopters. Secondly, they should invest assets in procuring helicopters and recruiting the personnel who will be responsible for conducting rescue operations. By taking such actions, these organizations can increase their preparedness for medical emergencies.

Conclusion

This discussion suggests that hospital administrators may have to use both ambulance vehicles and air medical services. As a rule, medical institutions have to rely on vehicles to respond to the needs of patients. Therefore, healthcare organizations should use and improve this form of transportation. However, very often, helicopters and airplanes are indispensable for assisting people requiring urgent help. In their turn, medical workers should develop a strategy for using helicopters and airplanes. On the whole, hospital administrators should be able to combine both ambulance vehicles and air medical services. This policy will be critical for safeguarding patients against various risks.

References

Auerbach, P., Cushing, T., & Harris, S. (2016). Auerbach’s wilderness medicine E-book (7th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Cameron, P., Browne, G., Mitra, B., Dalziel, S., & Craig, S. (Eds.). (2018). Textbook of paediatric emergency medicine (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Cone, D., Brice, J., Delbridge, T., & Myers, B. (Eds.). (2015). Emergency medical services: Clinical practice and systems oversight (2nd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Galazkowski, R., Wolkowski, W., Mikos, M., Szaija, S., Wejnarski, A., & Swiezewski, S. (2015). The strategy of training staff for a new type of helicopter as an element of raising the security level of flight operations. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 21(4), 558-567.

Low, A., & Hulme, J. (Eds.) (2014). ABC of transfer and retrieval medicine. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Motomura, T., Hirabayashi, A., Yamauchi, N., Nakamura, M., Machida, H., Fujizuka, K.,… Koido, Y. (2018). Aeromedical transport operations using helicopters during the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake in Japan. Journal of Nippon Medical School, 85(2), 124-140.

Schottke, D. (2016). Emergency medical responder: Your first response in emergency care (6th ed.). New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Selbst, S. (2014). Pediatric emergency medicine secrets (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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