Air ambulance tasking: why and how?


Air ambulances are a scarce and expensive resource and their use carries significant risk for crew and patients (Hennesy; 2005; Holland et al. 2005; Hinkelbein et al, 2008; Lutman et al, 2008). To benefit appropriate patients while minimizing risk and cost, tasking of air ambulance assets should ideally be sensitive and specific. Within the UK and across Europe, there are no standardized criteria to dispatch these resources (Littlewood et al, 2010; Wigman et al, 2010). Even where dispatch criteria are agreed, compliance is variable (Tiamfook-Morgan et al, 2008). The purpose of this review is to look at the evidence and rationale for tasking of air ambulance assets.

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