Medical technology has become critical in the modern healthcare environment given the increase in patient populations and the increased demand for quality, affordable care. Advancements in technology continue to transform nearly every aspect of society including the healthcare field. Innovative technology is considered critical toward improving the delivery and quality of healthcare services. Technology has a long history in the field of healthcare as it is traditionally used in developing medical equipment and enhancing clinical processes. Medical technology is applied in different areas of healthcare including in medical evacuation. Medical evacuation is an important part of healthcare as it is required when a medical issue cannot be effectively and adequately addressed in the current location. This paper examines the history of medical evacuation in relation to technology development and implementation in this area.
Overview of the Concept of Medical Evacuation
Medical evacuation is a process that has traditionally been utilized in the healthcare sector to help address the clinical needs of patients. The term medical evacuation refers to the process of moving a patient from one location to another for a higher standard of care. This process is carried out when the patent’s clinical condition cannot be adequately addressed or treated in the current location. In this case, the patient is moved to a location where he/she can receive quality medical care for the medical condition. According to Reksoprodio et al., medical evacuation is commonly known as MEDEVAC and entails the timely and efficient transfer of casualties to another location for quality care (par, 2). While en route to the new location, patients receive medical care, especially if they are wounded or require urgent care.
In today’s healthcare setting, medical evaluation involves the use of aircraft and other modes of transport for the speedy movement of patients to a location where they can receive a higher standard of care. The increased use of aircraft represents one of the major developments in the area of medical evacuation. Air medical evacuation is usually a complex and challenging process that can be further complicated if the patient is suffering from hazardous infectious or communicable disease (Gibbs et al., p.359). However, air/aerial medical evacuation has improved in recent years because of the ease of air travel, expansion of global commerce, and tourism. Even though these improvements have exposed all regions across the globe to diseases, they have also made it easier to evacuate patients to new locations for a higher standard of care. Medical evacuation is common in situations where there is limited local infrastructure to provide care or in situations where there are potential negative impacts on local healthcare workers. Additionally, medical evacuation is preferred in situations where there is an active war, there are local or national political concerns, or in conflict zones.
History of Aerial Medical Evacuation
Medical evacuation has developed to become an important part of today’s healthcare sector and medical practice. Throughout the history of the healthcare field and practice, patients have always been moved from one location to another because of the need for a higher standard of care. Medical evacuation is particularly common in situations of active war or conflicts, natural disasters or emergencies, and where there is an outbreak. Despite medical evacuation existing for as long as healthcare has existed, aerial medical evacuation initially began in military and paramilitary operations before being incorporated in non-military medical care. The emergence of aerial medical care in military and paramilitary operations and later integration into non-military and emergency medical care is attributable to historical developments in the realm of medical transport. These historical developments paved the way for aerial medical evacuation to become common in non-military and emergency medical care settings.
Early Years of Medical Evacuation
As previously indicated, the history of today’s aerial medical evacuation in emergency medical care can be traced back to aerial medical evacuation in military and paramilitary operations. In essence, the concept of aerial medical evacuation emerged in the military and paramilitary setting before becoming common in the overall healthcare setting. According to Olson, the United States Army pioneered air medical evacuation of casualties from the battlefield following the advent of the helicopter (p.S130). However, medical evacuation started in the first century prior to the advent of the helicopter.
The application and use of medical evacuation can be traced back to the first century when casualties from the battlefield were evacuated to other areas for urgent and high-quality medical attention. During the first century, the Byzantine Empire’s army integrated a system for battlefield casualty evacuation (which is known as CASEVAC) using medics known as Scribones. These medical professionals were located a hundred meters behind the battlefield and were paid a gold piece for every casualty they rescued. However, it was until the 18th Century when records of organized CASEVAC became common. This was during the…Panama, and Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. While combat operations in each of these conflicts ended quickly, wounded soldiers were transported by MEDEVAC units.
Aerial Medical Evacuation in Non-military and Emergency Medical Care
Aerial medical evacuation in the non-military and emergency care settings can be traced back to the use of aircraft evacuation in military and paramilitary operations. Following the successful application of aerial medical evacuation in the military, state and local governments in the United States sought to leverage this success. These governments leveraged the success of this initiative in the military world to start looking at how helicopters can be used in civilian emergency medical service systems (Olson et al., p.3).
The use of aerial medical evacuation in non-military and emergency medical care occurred after the Vietnam War. This practice was partly influenced by the success of aircraft evacuation during the war and the evolution of the emergency medical services system in the U.S. between 1960 and 1973 (Shah, p.414). During this period, a more organized and structured emergency medical services system was developed in the U.S. and influenced by several historical, medical, and social factors. The development and use of aerial medical evacuation in these settings were largely influenced by lessons learned during the Civil War and the Vietnam War. As the aviation industry continued to develop, aircraft were increasingly used in the healthcare sector for medical evacuation during this period.
A significant point in the use of aerial medical evacuation in non-military medical settings occurred in 1962 when U.S. medical authorities recognized the urgency of transferring trauma patients to well-equipped hospitals for treatment (Air Ambulance and Commercial Medical Escort Services par, 9). As a result, the National Academy of Science issued a policy paper that encouraged public healthcare facilities to embrace the use of medical air ambulance flights to help car crash victims and other critically ill patients. The policy paper influenced the creation of a contemporary nationwide emergency medical response system in the country. Over the past few decades, air ambulances have become integral parts of this system as helicopters are commonly used for emergency medical transports and medical evacuation.
In conclusion, aerial medical evacuation is an important part of today’s emergency medical services. However, the history of aerial medical evacuation can be traced back to the early days of medical evacuation in military and paramilitary operations. As evident in this discussion, aerial medical evacuation has…
Medical Care Perhaps the single biggest blessing that any individual can thank his or her stars for is a sense of physiological and psychological well being that allows for the optimal utilization of one's lifetime. In the same vein, all humankind can perhaps also thank and bless the significant advances made by the medical sciences, which has resulted in the ability to cure many an illness and overall increase the average
Medical Care Influenced by Civil War and Crimean Italian Unification Wars that Immediately Preceded the U.S. Civil War The objective of this study is to examine how medical care influenced the Civil War and Crimean Italian Unification Wars that Immediately Preceded the U.S. Civil War. The work of Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Pearce (2002) reports that the Napoleonic wars at the start of the19th century "introduced some important developments in the
How Medical Evacuation Evolved from Post Civil War to Present 1st Historical Interest Timeline: 1877 to 1910 Medical advances during this period were more in organization and technique and not in medical breakthroughs. Jonathan Letterman is credited with creating a highly organized system of ambulances and trained stretcher bearers that were designed to evacuate the wounded quickly. This was a great improvement from the previous methods. It was also during this period
Medical Treatments: Issues and Options for an Expanded Federal Role" Using Bardach's Eightfold Path" The objective of this work in writing is to assess the work entitled "Research on the Comparative Effectiveness of Medical Treatments: Issues and Opinions for an Expanded Federal Role" using Bardach's Eightfold Path. Bardach's eightfold path includes specific steps for assessment including: (1) Defining the problem; (2) assembling some evidence; (3) Construction of alternatives; (4) selection of
The working of the department leads to the overall success of the other programs and plans aimed by the country in delivering medical services to the country. Moreover, delivery of medical services to the marginalized and women involved approaches that consumed less amount of finances from the government and other support organs. Question 2: Important agencies at the federal level which impact on delivery of medical services to the Americans There