Impact of discontinuing a hospital-based air ambulance service on trauma patient outcomes

Vicky L. Chappell, William J. Mileski, Steven E. Wolf, Dennis C. Gore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background The clinical benefit of aeromedical transportation of injured patients in the civilian population has been debated. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of discontinuing a hospital-based helicopter transport program on trauma patient outcomes, with the hypothesis that the loss of an air ambulance would result in increased transport time and increased mortality among severely injured patients. Methods Data on injury severity and patient outcomes were collected prospectively for the 12 months immediately preceding and 24 months following discontinuation of the helicopter ambulance service. Transport time, mortality rate, and hospital length of stay was compared. Results The number of trauma patient admissions decreased 12%, with a 17% decrease in admissions of severely injured patients. Transport time decreased, with no change in mortality. Conclusion Discontinuation of a hospital-based air ambulance service did not increase transport time or increase mortality for trauma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-491
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002


  • Air ambulance
  • Hospital length-of-stay
  • Mortality
  • Transport time
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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