In the old days, medical knowledge and technology was simple enough for doctors to travel to their patients, then perform treatments in situ. Doctors no longer typically make house calls. And this is not for the reason often quipped, about doctors being too wealthy to care enough to do the traveling. This modern situation exists, where it is best for the patient to be transported to the doctor, because we have all these fast, shiny, great, heavy machines in hospitals and clinics, technology that assists doctors in many ways, but some of it doesn’t travel well.
Thus, it has become of critical importance to transport patients to the doctor’s clinic or ER as quickly and safely as possible. Transport technology has grown to offer many different modes, depending on the patient situation and prognosis constraints. The situation may be quite local to a place of medical aid. In that case, a call to 911 will result in an ambulance being dispatched. If the patient does not have a 911-level problem, some form of non-emergency transportation can be used. Of course, if a serious medical incident occurs in the remote wilderness, calling for help may be a bit more involved. Once help is called, somehow, the Air Ambulance Network crew will need to fly there, get the patient into the chopper, and perform initial triage on the patient while flying back.
Quick, safe, and reliable, the ambulance serves as a micro-hospital on wheels, except it has no quiet zone. Far from it, the ambulance is a cracking loud, rushing, twirling red lights kind of tiny hospital. For instance, this is a quite standard method to get a person having a heart attack the twelve blocks to the emergency room of a selected hospital. Ambulance vehicles often come equipped with an optical control projector, to signal to stop lights that the vehicle must immediately be green-lighted through, even if the light had just turned red. Of course, modern ambulances are equipped with tons of other special emergency medicines and life saving devices.
If it’s little more than a hang nail, just drive yourself, take a bus, or pay for a cab to get you to the doctor’s office. Of course, sometimes the transport must be by some form of ambulance, but without driving in nearly as much of a rush, and without the need for siren or flashing lights. People on Intravenous fluids, in special traction beds, or hooked up to life support equipment need transporting too.
Long Distance Transport
When the patient is coming from an isolated area, they will often have to be transported at high speeds in order to save their lives. As an example, if a climber falls and injures herself on Mt. McKinley in Alaska, she may be picked up on the mountain by helicopter, flown to the nearest large airport, and then flown by airliner or charter jet a big city for the best in emergency treatment. These are critically injured patients who need the kinds of treatments requiring large, well equipped hospitals. This long distance transport covers thousands of miles in a relatively short time.