Medical Transport for the Elderly… How does it get done?

This is a frequently asked question. Fortunately you have several non emergency medical  transport options or choices to consider.

First. How stable is your mom and what assistance does she need?

Ans: If she/he can get around in a wheel chair and able to control basic bodily functions (no diapers, no tubes, etc and can sit up for several hours at a time she probably can fly on a commercial airline.

Two suggestions:

1) get a medical clearance from the airline you are flying on.

2) consider an experienced medical attendant such as a flight nurse or paramedic with a background in medical aviation to watch for changes in medical condition, e.g. short of breath, changing vital signs etc

Other Options: if Mom or Dad is

1. not able to sit up for long periods of time or

2. is bed bound or bedridden or

3. need medical attention during the transport such as insulin shots, nebulizer treatments, have catheters or feeding tubes.

Consider your options;

Pros and Cons of different types of medical transportation.

Air ambulance:  good for critical patients; medical air transport is expensive but quick if you are in a hurry or patient is not stable (patient’s condition may easily deteriorate during the transport). Expensive. Two medical team members, often a flight nurse and paramedic or just one paramedic for stable non-critical patient requiring little care. Average cost of an air ambulance across the USA, Florida to California is ~ $ 24,000 to $29,000.00 Ground ambulance: OK for short distances of 2-3 hours; can be a rough, bumpy ride, usually riding backwards, some people cannot tolerate this, overall not a comfortable ride. $ 6 to $ 10 per mile.

Medical Coach: good for long distances 500 to 2000 miles; (non-emergency medical transport) higher level of care than a Van with more monitoring equipment, and more comfort, smoother air-cushion ride. Team of three; two drivers and a nurse. On board oxygen concentrator, back-up oxygen tanks, nebulizer treatments, suction pumps and feeding tubes etc. plus private bathroom, More room for one or two relatives plus extra luggage space underneath. Can tow vehicle or trailer if moving personal belongings.

Stretcher Van: OK for distances of 6-9 hours; no private bathroom; must use public facility and moving patient in and out of vehicle multiple times is difficult and fatiguing; limited space for equipment, no room for extra luggage, usually has only one driver and one medical attendant or two drivers and no medical attendant. Distance limited with one driver and one attendant. Make sure attendant/driver has long distance  medical transport experience. Care-giver cannot drive and take care of patient at the same time. Not an air cushion ride, little room for a relative to ride along. Usually the least expensive option of all for patients requiring little or no care. Hope this helps.

Long Distance Medical Transport Options

If you ever find yourself or a loved one in need of long distance medical transport Air Critical Care is the perfect company to turn to. They offer a variety of medical transportation options depending on the circumstances. When a long distance medical transport is needed, the best decision you can make is to call one of our transport coordinator’s at 800-550-0674. Once you provide them with all the details of your trip then they will work up a list of options for you to consider.

State to State Medical Transportation

For state to state medical transportation a variety of options will be available. The main things to consider for medical transport of this nature is that you can go with an air ambulance or you can go with a long distance medical transportation van. The choice you make will be a combination of medical, financial and logistical factors.

Air Ambulance

For patients that are really sick and in need of critical care an air ambulance is the best option as long as financial considerations aren’t too important. If you think this the option best for you contact one of air medical service coordinators and they will arrange everything for you bedside to bedside transport.

Long Distance Medical Ground Transport

For patients who are in stable condition ground transport maybe the best option. This option is perfect for a stable patients who may not be able to afford the more expensive air ambulance or who is afraid of flying. We have a fleet of very large and comfortable medical transport vehicles that are outfitted with mutliple entertainment options including TV/DVD and Wifi.

Whether you looking for new york air ambulance, florida medical transportation or any long distance medical service, Air Critical Care is the company for you. Air Critical Care + ACC Medlink: Air Critical Care and ACC Medlink are the industry leaders in *International and National* medical transportation, featuring complete “Bedside-to-Bedside” services by way of air or ground. Air Critical Care’s worldwide medical air transport services comprise our Air Ambulance, Commercial Medical Escort, and International Commercial Medical Stretcher Services. ACC Medlink offers large, spacious medically-equipped vehicles for nationwide long distance and non-emergency medical ground transportation. For Air or Ground Transports, please call 1-800-550-0674 or visit:

Medical flight radioed low fuel before crash that killed South Palm Beach couple, pilot

Before his small plane dropped from the sky, the pilot performing a medical transport  from the West Palm Beach area to the Chicago area radioed that he was low on fuel.

The twin-engine Piper Navajo crashed in north suburban Riverwoods, Ill. late Monday night, killing the pilot and an elderly couple from South Palm Beach with deep ties to the Chicago area, but sparing the lives of a medic and a co-pilot on board.

Investigators found no fuel in or around the air ambulance‘s damaged gas tanks but said it was too early to tell whether lack of fuel caused the crash.

Killed were pilot William Didier, 58, of Cedar Grove, Wis., along with John Bialek, 80 and his wife Ilomae, 75, of South Palm Beach, and formerly of Streamwood and River Forest, Ill. John Bialek had a blood infection and was returning to the Chicago area to be near family, his son John Bialek said.

The flight nurse and co-pilot, who have not been identified, were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.

The plane was heading for Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling and Prospect Heights, according to Ed Malinowski, an air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

About 5 miles from the airport, the plane ripped through a stand of trees and came to rest between two houses near Riverwoods.

Before moving to Florida, John and Ilomae Bialek lived at the end of a cul-de-sac in northwest suburban Streamwood, Ill. Their adult daughter continued to live in the ranch after they left. Ilomae Bialek was an educator and had been principal of an alternative high school in Franklin Park years ago.

Sylvia Knell, a neighbor at Le Chateau Condo at 3540 S. Ocean Boulevard, in South Palm Beach, said she had spent time with the Bialeks on Monday, before they headed to Chicago.

“They were very good friends,” Knell said, adding they were kind people. “They were wonderful people to know and great neighbors.”

The couple regularly attended The Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Lantana, which issued a statement saying that the Bialeks were “devoted parishioners.”

The priests and parishioners were so fond of their sense of humor,” the statement read. “We are truly saddened by this tragedy. We will be praying for them and their families.”

Medical Flight Services are needed often and can saves lives. This is a tragic case of pilot error.

Tribune reporters William Lee, Ryan Haggerty and Carlos Sadovi; Ken Kaye of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; David Kaplan of WGN; freelance reporter Amanda Marrazzo and The Palm Beach Post contributed.