Maryland officials adjust helicopter protocol

Emergency Management Alert, October 14, 2008

Just one week after a deadly medevac helicopter crash in Prince George’s county, Maryland killed four people, state emergency medical officials have altered the way the state uses helicopters to transport victims. Now, ambulance teams will be required to speak with doctors before making the decision to transport patients through the air, according to The Baltimore Sun. The rule will not apply to those with apparent traumatic injuries.
The state has also decided to create a committee of trauma and emergency experts to determine any additional changes to the state’s emergency medical system. Lately, according to the newspaper, some trauma specialists have questioned whether emergency crews nationwide are too reliant on helicopters for transportation. In Maryland, roughly 4,500 patients were transported through the air and nearly half were released within 24 hours, suggesting the injuries were not serious enough to warrant the transportation, according to The Sun.
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