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Your Air Ambulance Search: Important Terms You Should Know

An air ambulance can be a powerful and life saving tool, but booking a flight yourself can be a challenge all on its own. You are bound to see many phrases and terminology that are not familiar to you and that can make choosing a provider more difficult than it should be.

Here are some of the more frequently used air ambulance terms that you are sure to come across as you embark on your air ambulance search.

Attend to both their actual definitions as well as implications; noting how they might possibly be relevant to your own unique circumstance.

Air Ambulance: Similar to a traditional road-bound ambulance, the air ambulance is often equipped with many types of equipment commonly found in an emergency room. The major difference is that this particular type of ambulance is designed to travel by air. It is the most desired form of medical transportation when patients need to reach a hospital quickly, or when the location is impossible to reach via street level.

Medevac: Medevac is shorthand for medical evacuation. Technically, this refers to all types of medical transport, not just air ambulances. The term is perhaps more frequently used in European countries (such as Germany, Great Britain, and France) and among military situations, though some U.S. providers also use the term from time to time.

Air Evac: Short for air evacuation, this term refers to all medical transport via air. Included under this umbrella would be various types of air lifts like medevacs, helicopters, private jets, bi-planes, and any other mode of transportation that utilizes air space to transport patients to a medical facility.

Air Ambulance Jet: This type of medical air evac refers only to Lear-type jets, which tend to offer more room inside for the passengers medical equipment and staff. Unlike the two terms previously described, this term actually refers to the design and style of the aircraft.

RVSM: This scary looking acronym stands for reduced vertical of separation minimums. It refers to the aircraft’s ability to fly high above commercial airlines. When book air ambulance flights, it’s a good idea to look for this type of system onboard. The higher altitude eliminates some of the turbulence experienced in aircraft that must fly at lower elevations.

LifePort: Just as you might see the term life support when researching medical facilities, so to you will see this categorizing and prioritizing of services onboard certain medical air flights. LifePort is simply the term that describes this multi-level treatment approach. Oddly enough, not all medevac flights are equipped with their own LifePort systems, so it’s essential that you ask when making your travel arrangements.

Bed-To-Bed Care: This particular phrase is referred to by many other names: bedside-to-bedside, flight-to-curb, and even full service may refer to this feature. Regardless, the term refers to your transportation options from the aircraft to the health care facility you or the flight director have agreed upon. Just be sure to clarify the actual availability prior to your flight.

So there you have it — you now have a list of the most commonly used air evac terms that you are sure to come across as you embark on your medical flight search. As a final word of caution, you are strongly encouraged to speak with the flight director about any terms which you do not understand, or are unsure about how they might pertain to your flight.

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