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What Does a Flight Medic Do?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Images By: Overcrew, n/a, Bsani
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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A flight medic is an emergency medical technician who is a member of an aerial medical evacuation, or medevac, crew. The medic is responsible for stabilizing and immobilizing a trauma patient before a flight to medical facilities. He is also responsible for the patient's health during the flight, and he may also assist the pilot. When the medevac helicopter reaches its destination, the flight medic will brief the receiving doctors and nurses on the patient's condition.

Medical evacuation flights are typically used to transport trauma victims to an area where they can receive the proper medical care. Typically, helicopters are used for these flights, but fixed-wing planes may also be used. At times, a patient will be transported from an accident location directly to a hospital. Other times, medevac flights may be used to transport a patient from one hospital to another. This typically happens when the receiving hospital is better equipped to help a patient.

Before the flight, it is the responsibility of the flight medic to stabilize the patient. For instance, if the patient is bleeding heavily, the medic must first attempt to stop the bleeding. He must also prepare the patient for the flight. This usually includes being secured to a special stretcher.

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After the patient is stable and secure, the flight medic must then load her into the helicopter. Some helicopters are equipped with special doors on the undersides to make loading and unloading patients much easier. Patients are also strapped securely into the helicopters, so they won't be jostled around during the flight.

During the flight, the flight medic and flight nurse must continue emergency medical treatment, if necessary. Medications may be administered, for instance, or a portable defibrillator may be used to restart the patient's heart. Oxygen may also be given during a medevac flight. Flight medics will also usually calm and reassure a patient during a flight as well.

Besides being responsible for his patient, a flight medic may also need to assist the pilots with the flight. He may need to help with pre-flight inspections, for instance. During the flight, he may also help with navigation, by keeping an eye out for landmarks.

If the patient is transported to a hospital, doctors and nurses are usually ready and waiting for the incoming flight, which will usually land on a rooftop. After the helicopter lands at its destination, the flight medic must then unload the patient. The patient is then handed over to the waiting hospital staff. A flight medic will also inform the staff about any medical treatments that the patient received while in his care, both before and during the flight. Any paperwork, like medical records, must also be handed over to the waiting hospital staff.

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