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NAEMT Releases Position Statement on Air Medical Transport Safety

Jan 26, 2009

The NAEMT board of directors has approved a position statement on air medical transport safety.

NAEMT is very concerned about and wanted to address the unacceptable and  increasing rate of accidents, injuries and deaths occurring in the air medical transportation industry. Since 2000, many scientific papers and reports — published by agencies and organizations such as the U.S. Government Accountability Office, National Transportation Safety Board, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Congressional Research Service and the Air Medical Physicians Association — have identified numerous air medical safety issues and have recommended solutions. However, none of these solutions have been implemented to date by either the federal government or the industry.

NAEMT strongly supports the development and enforcement of evidence-based, mission appropriate safety standards for air medical transportation that enhance the safety of both patients and crew members.

The association recommends that the federal government bring together all stakeholder groups to reach a consensus on these standards and incorporate them into federal regulation, and should work with states to ensure the full enforcement of all air medical transport regulation. NAEMT also recommends that through their EMS offices, state governments have regulatory authority over the medical and EMS systems components of air medical transport. The association also supports research and development of evidence- based protocols that would determine when air or ground medical transport would best serve the needs of patients.

For the full position statement and other NAEMT position statements, please visit our Positions page.