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What is an air ambulance?

An air ambulance transports a patient to a medical centre for treatment. Such aircraft are equipped to provide emergency care on board. As air ambulances become increasingly popular, their connectivity has improved and extended to remote areas.

When are such services necessary?

The primary role of air ambulances is to facilitate quick medical evacuation. They are instrumental when ground transportation is ineffective—for instance, in areas or terrains where road connectivity is poor. They are also vital when a critically injured patient needs to be swiftly transported to another city. Though air ambulance charges are higher than ground ambulances, they ensure smooth and swift transportation.

Benefits of air ambulances

Increased chances of survival: For patients in a critical condition, every minute counts. Air ambulances are faster than ground ambulances, thereby increasing a patient’s chances of survival by facilitating quick treatment.

Optimal care on the go: Air ambulance prices are high as they are equipped with specialised medical and surveillance tools. They also have medical experts on board to provide emergency and necessary medical care.

Quick and convenient commute: Road connectivity in underdeveloped areas is poor. Existing roads may be bumpy, slowing down transportation. Meanwhile, roads in urban area are often congested. In such scenarios, air ambulances offer quick and convenient transportation.

Fast and wide-ranging coverage: Air ambulances cover many cities and offer services in remote areas. Moreover, they are faster than ground ambulances.

Types of Air Ambulances

Jet aircraft: A jet aircraft is a fixed-wing air ambulance. It is spacious, comfortable and facilitates safe transportation. It is also safer than a helicopter in erratic weather conditions. Moreover, it is less noisy, easing the stress on patients, especially the elderly.

Turbo-pop rescue planes: Helicopters fall under the category of turbo pop rescue planes. Such air ambulances have rotary wings and are suited for shorter distances. Helicopter ambulance costs are lower than those of jet aircraft. They can also land in narrower spaces such as smaller landmasses, short roads and villages. Crucially, they can land on the helipads of hospitals, which is essential for patients who need an emergency unit.

What is the process of booking an air ambulance?

You can book an air ambulance through the following steps:

  • Contact the medical institution that offers the air ambulance facility.
  • The concerned department will assess the patient’s condition and case report for approval.
  • The paramedic or doctor will give the patient healthcare till the air ambulance arrives.
  • The paramedic or doctor will also inform the emergency dispatch management unit of the hospital.
  • With the help of a ground ambulance, the patient will be taken to the air ambulance’s landing zone.

What is the average cost of an air ambulance in India?

The average cost of an air ambulance in India ranges from Rs. 1.6 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per hour. However, the final cost will depend on the type of ambulance, distance covered, the pre-hospitalisation care required and the medical facilities on board.

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