Astronaut Mark Kelly poses next to two air ambulance flight clinicians near a learjet


7 Things You Need to Know for Reporting on Air Medical

The Air Ambulance and Medical Flight Media Guide

This week, Angel MedFlight joined CNN anchor, Erica Hill to discuss how a patient like Charlie Gard would be transported, and the preparation that goes into an air ambulance transport. There has been a lot of discussion in the media over the last week about what an air medical transport looks like – this guide will navigate you through the basics of medical transports. First, you’ll want to understand when air medical transportation is needed.

When do patients need an air ambulance?

Patients may require an air ambulance when a commercial flight is medically inadvisable or ground transport is contraindicated. Moving a patient from one hospital to another can present many challenges. Commercial airlines have regulations that restrict certain types of medical transports and if a patient requires oxygen or has other ambulatory needs, an air ambulance flight is better suited to perform the flight.

Here are the seven things you need to know for reporting on air ambulance services:

How does an air ambulance transport patients?

Air ambulance companies clinically prepare for a medical transport by learning more about the patient, their current condition, and reviewing medical records with the physician teams at the sending and receiving facilities. This process includes:

  • Assessing the latest medical records and coordinating with physician teams/facilities
  • Pre-Scheduling Risk Assessment completed by Angel MedFlight clinicians
  • 100% review of all patient charts by Director of Clinical Services
  • Complete bedside assessment prior to medical upon arrival at patient bedside
Where do you fly?

An air ambulance can fly anywhere in the world and has the capability to fly to and from hospitals around the world.

Who is on board?

At Angel MedFlight  we provide the highest level of care available by treating one patient on a flight at a time. All of our flights include the following crew members in addition to our patient and any accompanying family members:

  • Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN)
  • Certified Flight Paramedic (F-PC)
  • A physician, if appropriate
  • Two Pilots
How do you know if a pediatric patient who cannot speak is in pain?

Our clinicians assess behavioral and physiological cues, including increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. They can continue the patient’s existing pain management plan to manage discomfort.

How far can an air ambulance fly?

Depending on the type of medically configured aircraft, a medical flight can fly anywhere in the world at distances of thousands of miles.

What medical equipment is on the air ambulance?

The jet aircraft are configured as hospital intensive care units complete with a custom stretcher, specialized equipment, and medications. With a longer flight range and faster air speed, these jets provide greater patient comfort than turbo prop aircraft. Our air ambulance aircraft have the capability to fly worldwide, equipped to deliver life-saving care around the globe.

Each fully customized air ambulance is equipped with the latest technology in medical devices and monitoring capability, providing an intensive care unit in the air. Some of this equipment includes:

  • Custom Stretcher and Base Life Ports
  • Ventilator system
  • Multi-Channel IV Pump
  • Heart monitor, defibrillator, external pacemaker, and full sequence event monitoring
Have we transferred anyone with Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

Though mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome is extremely rare, Angel MedFlight has transferred pediatric patients with mitochondrial syndrome, a disorder that occurs when structures that produce energy for a cell malfunction.

Our highly trained clinicians have experience transferring patients with rare disorders, syndromes, diseases and conditions and have a wealth of clinical expertise required to complete some of the most complex medical transports. No matter what their condition is, all of our patients are approached with the same level of compassion and treated like family.

About Angel MedFlight

Angel MedFlight has flown thousands of patients nationally and internationally on our medically configured fleet. Our advanced certified nurses and paramedics provide comprehensive emergency and critical care to all types of patients.

Flying in our medically configured Learjet includes the advantage of flying in a pressurized cabin at higher altitudes to avoid bad weather or turbulence for a smoother flight. A medically configured Learjet allows our team to transfer patients in a safer environment. Jet aircraft can fly higher and faster compared to other types. This ability allows us to transport patients quickly and safely to the best care available.

Unlike a commercial airline, a medical flight provider can treat patients. Some of the advantages of medical transport may include getting a patient to a higher level of care, repatriated back into the United States, to a life-saving organ, or to a specialized physician team that has the ability to treat a certain patient condition or rare disorder.

Angel MedFlight strives to get all of our patients to the best and most appropriate level of care.




For media inquiries, contact our Vice President of Business Development, Kim Halloran