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Air Ambulance Services – Do They Truly Offer an Advantage?


Air ambulance services as well as ground ambulance services are handled by trained medical experts and first responders. The medical equipment housed in both such vehicles too is somewhat similar. The only major difference between the two is the time taken. Obviously, air ambulance services are quicker. Does this time saving really result in a drastic improvement in the chances of survival and better recovery? That is the big question. Research conducted in Denmark says there is not an appreciable difference between the two. In this context, one questions whether the steep costs associated with air ambulance services are worth it.

What does the Research on Air Ambulance Services Reveal?

The study conducted in Denmark involved close to 10,000 people. It had people who were flown by helicopter air ambulance services and ground ambulances. A comparison was drawn between the two, and it was found that about a quarter of these people had illnesses or injuries that were critical. These patients were observed for a year, and surprisingly, the survival chances of the people flown by air ambulance services were only 1% better than those who had taken ground ambulances. Roughly 23% of the people who had taken air ambulance services had died within a year, whereas the number stood at 24% for those who took ground ambulances.

Other Factors Must Be Considered

The big question is whether the study held in Denmark holds good for countries like the United States and Australia. The United States, which is much bigger geographically, demands that more distance is covered during medical emergencies, especially given the fact that many of the rural hospitals have closed in recent times. On the other hand, countries like Australia, which lack great road connectivity, must depend on air ambulance services. Still, considering that almost 75% of the people end up paying out of pocket due to out-of-network services in the US, the statistics are worth noting.

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