It’s estimated that one percent of the half a million people a year who request emergency medical air transport are denied the service because their size weight is more than the aircraft can handle.
It’s estimated that one percent of the half a million people a year who need emergency medical air transport are denied the service because their size and weight are more than the aircraft can handle.
For those 5 thousand people, some of whom live in remote areas over an hours’ drive from the nearest hospital, their only option is to go by motor vehicle, which often takes twice the time.
Some emergency medical transport services have responded by spending millions on specially built helicopters and fixed-wing planes that can carry up to a 650-pound patient.
Others do the best they can with what they have.
Some rescue teams report that their highly skilled crewmembers go along in the ambulance to ensure the best possible crisis care is given.
Others ride around to burn off fuel to lighten the craft’s load and make room for the extra pounds.
Different air ambulances have different limits, and those are often variables themselves. The ability to get and stay off the ground is often at the mercy of environmental conditions like air density and temperature.