The aeromedical services would be shared by different ICUs such as the Pediatric ICU and the cardiothoracic ICU. Hence it would be prudent to look for options that can satisfy the critical requirements of both units…
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For this, we explore the existing aeromedical services across different countries. This will give us a better viewpoint when we assess the choices available. Secondly, we look at the likely prices and estimate the funding requirements; in parallel, we also assess the financing options available. In the final stage, we also assess the various equipment that are needed to be procured for effective medical services in-flight. Aligning the choices with the potential costs against each, we can arrive at the best possible option. 2. Survey of International Aeromedical Services In the United States, one of the popular aeromedical services is operated by U.S Air Ambulance (U.S Air Ambulance, USAirambulance.net). The service has signed up around 600 hospital clients. There could be various levels of critical emergency care. Air ambulance is the fastest method of transporting critically ill patients. Other methods could involve commercial air escort, where the patient is not in need of critical care or medical escort via rail, where the patient’s condition is stable and he / she can travel by train especially if distances less than 300 miles are involved. Other methods include transporting patients by road in specialized vehicles fitted with advanced medical equipment. A much larger international organization operating in this domain is Medi-Aviation (International Air Ambulance, mediaviation.com). The service operates out of London and caters to patients across the globe. There is provision for Intensive care during air travel. This service also assists tourists with a medical condition. It provides trained medical assistance round the clock in coordination with commercial airline services. Hence tourists who face medical condition of any kind need not hesitate to travel to other countries. We briefly look at prominent aeromedical services in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (flyingdoctor.org.au) through the services of its own aircraft and chartered flights covered a distance of nearly 24 million kilometers in 2009. This company has 21 aircraft operating bases. It has 178 pilots, 60 engineering professionals and 15 operational coordinators to support the doctors and paramedical staff. RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service) operates the following types of aircraft: King Air B200, the PC-12 Pilatus, the Cessna Grand Caravan C208 and Hawker 800XP2 in Australia. Aeromedical services in New Zealand are operated by a trust known as Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust (airrescue.co.nz). The service caters to three different requirements: Westpac rescue helicopter, Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter and New Zealand Flying Doctor Service. In light of the earthquakes that occurred in 2009, New Zealand has air services that focus more on search and rescue operations. In this regard, Garden City Air Centre (helicopters.net.nz) also provides air rescue and ambulance services across the three cities of Christchurch, Nelson and Greymouth. In New Zealand, air charter services are also available through Skyline Aviation (skylineaviation.co.nz). This organization operates fixed wing, twin engine aircraft; among them, prop King Air B200C, Cessna 421C and piper Navajo are well accepted by the medical fraternity. Besides, these aircraft are known for their safety standards. Similar to other organizations, Skyline Aviation also offers search and rescue operations in addition to aeromedical services. 3. Key Issues with Aeromedical Services There could be questions regarding the usage of helicopters versus
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