Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




To analyze the characteristics of patients transferred by air ambulance in the eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. Materials and methods: We retrospectively evaluated the records of patients transferred by air ambulance between January 2010 and December 2010. Demographics and medical data of the patients, geographic conditions, and flight duration data were all analyzed. Results: A total of 241 patients were included in the study, of whom 51% were men and 49% were women. The majority of the patients were between 0 and 1 year old (40.2%). In the adult patients, the most commonly seen diagnoses were trauma (31.6%), obstetric problems (24.7%), cerebrovascular events (12.4%), and myocardial infarction (9%). It was determined that in terms of medical disciplines the patients were most commonly transferred to the clinics of pediatrics (45.2%), neurosurgery (9.1%), gynecology (9.1%), cardiology (6.2%), neurology (5%), and general surgery (5%). The total flight time was 115.3 ± 4.7 min and the patients were most commonly transferred to a university hospital. Conclusion: The decision to use an air ambulance may be made based on the distance, the length of the transfer and transportation, the resources of the health institutions located in the relevant region, and the environmental and climatic conditions. However, the association between the likelihood of survival, the therapeutic benefits of the patient, and the cost should be analyzed.

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