The Current State of the Air Ambulance Industry

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As of right now, in 2013, there are many changes going on in the air ambulance industry. For example, the company Global Jetcare has recently decided to go green with the hope that they can lower their overhead costs. One way they have gone green is to reduce paperwork by doing a lot of electronic filing. Another way they have worked to save energy is by using fluorescent lighting throughout their offices. Their computers and other electronics are energy efficient and will go into a hibernation state when not in use. They also refill their printer cartridges instead of throwing them away. Many companies are becoming more and more environmentally conscious so that they have a better brand image.

There are even more changes happening at the people level, such is the story with a pilot named Jim Cooper. He is a flight helicopter and is hoping to be able to save even more lives than he already does with the help of an Iphone app. The idea behind the app is to save precious minutes in a field where time can be the difference between a person living or dying. The app cost Cooper ninety thousand dollars to develop but he is hopeful it will take off. Others have already remarked that the app could be a big hit, although there will be obstacles to face getting it up and running in the future.

Another trend in the current air ambulance industry is that the air ambulance is having to change because of the economy. There are many government insurance companies out there that are not covering the costs associated with air ambulance use. The programs are decreasing the use of helicopter air ambulances and increasing their use of fixed wing, or jet air ambulances. The jet flights take the patients to doctors who specialize in treating their conditions. However, the economy we are talking about is the US economy, and not all situations regarding air ambulances are created equal. The United Kingdom is actually experiencing a growing market when it comes to air ambulances, this is due to the fact that the UK plans to privatize their entire search and rescue air operations. Both their helicopter fleet and their fixed wing fleet is growing and although their fixed wing fleet is actually smaller right now, it is growing at a faster pace. Europe and asia are said to lead the way in the air ambulance industry.

How Many Lives are Saved by Ambulances?

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Hundreds of thousands of lives are saved each years by ambulances. There are many different types of air ambulances and they do affect how many lives they save each year.  In fact, a study found that helicopters are actually better for transporting patients with severe injuries than ground ambulances. Our of 61909 transported by helicopters, 7183 died , compared to 17775 out of 161,566 that were taken by ground ambulances. The study showed that helicopters improve the survival odds. In terms of worldwide performance, most of the world doesn’t have access to formal pre-hospital care. However, according to the World Health Organization, first level responders and paramedics can lower mortality in trauma by 9%. That is a big deal, in fact, in many countries that have ambulance and emergency services, a lack of prompt response and a lack of the right equipment can cost the loss of lives that could have been saved. For example, there was a TV advert for St John ambulances that showed 140,000 people die every year in instances where had they had access to quick first aid, they could have survived. According to the campaign, that is as many deaths as there are from cancer every year. Many times, a city , like LA for example, will routinely lie to themselves when concerning their true response times. People have died because they weren’t reached in the right amount of time. Due to inefficiencies in the emergency medical systems, many lives are lost in big cities each year.

There is new research that came out from the Mayo clinic that shows that people who have a heart short circuit and gain the condition caused ventricular fibrillation only have six minute to live and if they receive a shock from a defibrillator , they can survive. So you can see how crucial each minute can be when someone is facing an emergency situation. Realistically, the people who suffer these kinds of heart conditions only have about a 6 to 10 % chance of being saved.  Of course,  it also matters where you are when 911 gets called. The studies showed that if you lived in Seattle , for example, you would have a much better chance of being saved than if you lived in Washington D.C. The location matters because of the response time and the location of ambulance services.  Ambulances save lives, but more can be done.

Who Regulates the Ambulance Industry?

Government-RegulationsThe ambulance industry is regulated by the states. Different states have different laws and rules when it comes to ambulances. For example, in Florida, when it comes to air ambulances, the form 64j-1.005 talks about how each applicant for an air ambulance license has to pay a fee and that the license only lasts for 2 years. According to the form , they also have to keep a minimum of 100,000 for a one person accident or 300,000 dollars for a more than one person accident. They also have to have their paramedics who work for them complete an initial air crew member education program. Also, the air ambulance provider has to have a safety committee. They also require that they have at least one person who is a paramedic and that the air ambulance meet certain requirements. They also have to have certain medical equipment.  The Florida Department of Health has a special Emergency Medical Program, it is responsible for the statewide regulation of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics; EMT and paramedic training programs; 911 Public Safety Telecommunicator  Program; and ambulance services and their vehicles.  New jersey has a long sheet that you can find online that outlines some of their ambulance services procedures. In New Jersey, if you want to be licensed to operate an MAV or BLS ambulance service, you have to complete an OEMS application and demonstrate all sorts of other things that they have on their list such as making sure your personnel files meet certain standards and that you have proof of insurance. There are all sorts of fees that you have to pay and renewal fees that you have to pay to run an ambulance service. They have everything down, you even have to be careful how you advertise. According to Colorado state law, ground ambulances are licensed in each county where the ambulance operates. Their department of public Health and Environment handles all the certification of the EMS technicians.

Of course there are also the private ambulance companies. The largest private ambulance provider, American Medical Response, are also answering 911 calls. They offer communities rescue services at little or no charge and so they are an offer that’s hard to refuse. Also, firefighters are known to moonlight as EMS providers too. Although these companies tend to only go into communities where they are wanted because ambulance providers are governed by strict regulations.

An Overview of the Healthcare Industry in the US

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The healthcare industry is doing great right now.  There are huge profit margins to be had in the industry, even despite the recession that we have gone through, the healthcare industry remains strong. The reasons that the healthcare industry is doing well even though there is a recession going on are many. First of all, the baby boomers are hitting the age of retirement. The baby boomers are the people who were born after the World War 2 and they are called baby boomers because they are the result of a large increase in the number of children being born at that time. The fact that many baby boomers are getting older means that they are going to be in need of care and medical treatment. Since the boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 , it means that they are between the ages of 67 and 85 right now. At these ages, their bodies are starting to shrink and they are showing signs of aging. The healthcare industry is doing really well by taking care of these people. In a time where money is tight, people still need their medication and need to see their doctors and take care of their health. In a recession or an economic downturn, it is easy to forego the luxuries, but you cannot afford to risk your health.

Not only is there more business, but with increased need for medical staff and an industry with a lot of money, the people who are being hired are able to take advantage of great pay, benefits and other incentives. Think about it, if you are a hospital that makes millions and has a need for employees from a limited talent pool, you will go the extra mile to claim them over a competitor. This is how business works. Of course there is also the Obamacare health reform that was passed and that will affect the industry in the future. What the Obamacare does is give affordable health insurance to poorer people at the expense of the richer people and employers who have a lot of employees. There is a lot of controversy around these laws, but most of the changes do not start to go into effect until 2014. Up until now, there have been a lot of complaints about the health insurance agencies and their dealings with patients and customers. Obamacare is supposed to give help to the less fortunate. What effect this will have on the future of the healthcare industry remains to be seen.

How Medical Staff Save Lives

medical staffThere are so many ways that medical staff saves lives and I’m not just talking about doctors either. For starters, both of my parents were nurses, and they often remarked how the work that they did for patients not only saved their lives, but caused their patients to be extremely thankful. Nurses actually do a lot of the work themselves. They are not performing surgery and removing tumors, but they do assist the doctors a great deal and perform necessary tasks that the patients require. Their tasks can range from setting up IVs to changing dresses and providing the essential tools the doctor will use. If they make a mistake, they can endanger lives, like getting the wrong blood or getting charts wrong. Nurses provide needed services and help save lives. There are many other medical staff that save lives. Emergency personnel are very important in that they are completely relied on to administer care to patients at critical times. Emergency Medical Service personnel, specifically first responders, can administer CPR to patients who require it, can carry a defibrillator with them and provide necessary aid. Emergency Medical Service or EMS personnel are also relied on to get the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible. Not just with regular ground ambulances, but many ambulance workers are also used in sir ambulance services and other rescue operations. There are also various technicians that work in hospitals that are also used to save lives. X-ray techs and various technicians that work on the medical equipment to keep it in good order and physician’s assistants all play their part in helping patients.  Many different people who work in the hospital contribute to saving lives as well.

Of course, then there are the doctors. These are the people who are credited with most of the life saving. They provide diagnosis, perform operations and prescribe medicine that they determine the patients will need to stay alive and well. There are many different types of doctors and surgeons who perform operations and there are many types of surgeons. For example, there are heart surgeons who perform operations to save lives and brain surgeons who perform life saving operations on people’s brains. There are doctors who specialize in different types of cancers. In net, the people involved in the medical industry are helping everyday people stay fit and healthy.