accomplish in a way that would save lives. The minimum landing requirements of
helicopters and VT01 and STOL (vertical/short takeoff and landing) aircraft permit
patients to be picked up well forward. and delivered to the immediate vicinity of
(4) Flexibility. Because of the speed, range, flexibility, and versatility of
aeromedical evacuation, patients can be moved directly to that medical installation best
equipped for the care of the particular injury. Specialized treatment is placed in direct
support of every forward surgeon. Patient flow from overloaded hospitals can be
diverted to others with fewer patients, thus minimizing the time from hospital admission
to surgical treatment and adding to the chances for recovery.
(5) Economy of resources. The selectivity possible in aeromedical
evacuation procedures permits economy in the use of MTF. Fewer specialty treatment
teams are required because of the capability to move patients to hospitals with the
required specialties rather than attempt to place surgical specialties in every hospital.
Hospitals are required to move less often, thereby reducing periods of noneffectiveness
during movement and reestablishment.
(6) Comfort. The ease and comfort of aircraft movement reduces the
patient's discomfort and the shock that might otherwise be suffered from more handling
and longer, rougher, movement. Thus, they arrive at MTFs in far better condition with
greater chances for recovery. These advantages combine to improve patient's morale -
as well as the morale of the fighting man--when he realizes that, if wounded, he can
quickly receive specialized medical treatment. This is a factor that will be of increased
importance in the dispersed battlefields of the future.
(1) Over evacuation. It is desirable to keep the wounded man as far forward
as his expected time of recovery will permit, so as to preclude unnecessary
replacements for experienced personnel. The capability of modern aircraft to transport
patients a great distance in a short time may create a tendency to evacuate patients too
far to the rear and overfly intermediate medical facilities. This is particularly true if the
request for aeromedical evacuation is not processed through medical channels. When
evacuation requests are retained in medical channels, the surgeon, based upon medical
considerations, decides whether to evacuate by air and thus avoids unnecessary
(2) Weather and darkness. Extreme weather conditions limit the use of
aircraft for aeromedical evacuation. Army aircraft are equipped with navigational
equipment to make instrument flights during instrument flight rules(IFR) conditions or
marginal weather conditions. Night evacuations are accomplished routinely, but they
require more coordination and information, such as that involving the use of the glide
slope, signal devices, or radar. The pilot is the final authority for determining when
unfavorable conditions preclude flying a mission.