Is That Helicopter REALLY Necessary?

Over at M.D.O.D., ERdoc85 wonders if some of his patients are being transported inappropriately via helicopter.

And the answer to that question is, “Hell yes, most of them.”

A great many ground EMS crews are infected with advanced rotoriasis, but the problem is not limited to the EMS profession. Quite a few rural ER docs are ate up with it, too.

I weary of refuting this foolish notion we’ve developed over the years that mechanism of injury is not simply a part of the assessment criteria, but the assessment itself, We need to stop triaging patients to trauma centers, and flying them on helicopters, based solely on that criteria, because of it.

I’ve written about it elsewhere, and you can read about it here.

Other, more well-known EMS leaders have, as well.

It’s stupid, dangerous and irresponsible, and doesn’t speak well of our ability to accurately assess patients. Most of the arguments to defend helicopter EMS abuse are easily refuted.

Next time you consider calling for the bird, think of our brethren dying in a helicopter crash, ask yourself if that flight is really necessary.

And if your primary justification for the flight is mechanism of injury, or the helicopter is the quickest way to clear an ER bed, or to allow your ground EMS crew to go back into service sooner, you’re part of the problem.