The recent talk about the rising air ambulance service costs has raised doubts about whether such service must be limited to certain cases only. In spite of all the criticism that’s making the rounds, it must be noted that air ambulances are a necessity. They play a role that no ground ambulance service can fulfill with the same efficacy and survival chances. More and more rural hospitals are shutting down, and currently, 8 million people in the United States are quite a distance from level 1 and 2 trauma centers.
Role of Air Ambulance Service in Stroke and Spinal Injury Survival
The golden hour rule is especially true when it comes to getting help for stroke patients. Air ambulance service can be critical in getting the patient to the appropriate treating facility on time. A survey has found that a majority (52%) of all the stroke cases that utilized air ambulance services were from super rural areas and the remaining 48% from the urban areas. Even these urban cases, most often, are the ones that get stuck in traffic or similar situations where air ambulance service becomes a necessity.
Spinal injuries too can be time critical and life-threatening. The survey has seen that it is usually the young, adventurous ones that suffer this type of injury. The average age of people, who suffer spinal cord injuries, is 21. Of all such patients availing air ambulance service, 42% were urban and 48% rural. Of these, 22% were from super-rural areas.
The Payment Disparity Leading to High Air Ambulance Service Cost
In the United States, air ambulance service bills are only paid by those who avail it. However, this service remains on standby for the entire country’s population. If a small amount is paid by each citizen, the service could be availed virtually free by everyone. Currently, only 30% of the population is paying for the service.