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Re: [at-l] Helicopter rescue question (was Cell phones and safety (realistically))

In Maryland (Much of which is hardly wilderness) EMTs have the option of
requesting a Helicopter for any priority 1 patient if the incident is more
than 20 minutes from the appropriate facility.  That might be a trauma
center, the burn center, the hand center, etc.  Priority 1 means something
like cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, significant trauma, etc.  There's
also the concept of the 'golden hour' for trauma patients.  Basically you
want them to be at the ED within an hour of the incident.  (not an hour
since it was reported, or an hour since they were extricated)

My experience is urban and suburban EMS rather than wilderness EMS, but I
would expect the  the issues to the substantially the same.  You evaluate
your patient.  An uncomplicated twisted ankle probably is going to do ok
with a +2 hour transport time.  A significant trauma, such as a fractured
pelvis isn't.  Then you assess the time between the incident and the
arrival of rescuers.  The time to 'rescue' and package the patient.  Then
you evaluate how long it's going to take to get the patient to an ED (if
that's the destination).  Balancing time with the patient's condition you
decide if you need additional resources, like a helicopter.

In this part of PG county we're really close to a trauma center, so we
rarely use medevac, but I've seen them used periodically when they are more
convenient than ground transport or when time on scene is high.

Hope that helps, ^_^ 


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