Use of helicopters for retrieval of trauma patients: A geospatial analysis

This article reports findings from a geospatial analysis of helicopter transport of adult patients to a Level I trauma center between 2013 and 2018. The study sample included 1,911 trauma patients selected from a mixed urban/rural population. The authors examined the logistical/geographical appropriateness of helicopter transport, hypothesizing that the patients could have reached the hospital more quickly if they had been taken via road transportation. The median calculated drive time was found to be 65 minutes, while the median calculated flight time was 60 minutes and for 33% of patients, calculated calculated flight time was longer than calculated drive time, factoring in time for the helicopter to arrive at the scene of the incident. The study findings suggest that over one quarter of the patients transported could have arrived more quickly if they had been transported by road instead of helicopter. They conclude that scene aeromedical retrieval may be overutilized in the area studied.


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  • Accession Number: 01734466
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2019 2:34PM