Sun coverage: State medevac system woes

Sun coverage: State medevac system woes

October 28, 2009

NTSB blames pilot error in '08 medevac crash

A state police helicopter pilot's decision to make a rapid descent in an attempt to see better in fog was the chief cause of the medevac crash that killed four people last year near Andrews Air Force Base, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded.

September 5, 2009

Helicopter maker files protest

The manufacturer of Maryland's medevac helicopters is protesting the state's effort to replace the aging fleet, alleging that the bidding process favors another company and would add to the program's cost.

4:44 PM EDT, March 25, 2009

Medevac oversight bill gets preliminary approval

The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval Wednesday morning to a bill that would add two members — a police helicopter pilot and a member of the public — to Maryland's 11-person emergency medical services oversight board.

December 19, 2008

Md. Cabinet post urged for medevac oversight

Maryland should create a Cabinet-level department to oversee emergency services and consider allowing a private company to run the state's helicopter transport fleet, say two lawmakers who pledged yesterday to spearhead reform during the legislative session that begins next month.

December 3, 2008

Medevac use down notably in state since fatal crash

The number of Maryland medevac transports has dropped significantly since new protocols were put in place after a fatal crash, causing lawmakers to question yesterday how many helicopters are needed to replace the state's aging fleet.

November 25, 2008

Officials: Medevac crews hesitant since crash

State emergency medical officials said yesterday that some ambulance crews in Maryland are "skittish" since a fatal medevac helicopter crash in September and might be too reluctant to transport accident victims to the hospital by air.

October 31, 2008

Copter pilot had sought radar help

The pilot of the medevac helicopter that crashed in Prince George's County last month asked an air traffic controller for turn-by-turn landing instructions before he went down, but the controller couldn't provide such directions because she was not trained to use the base's precision radar equipment, according to a preliminary federal report released yesterday.

October 23, 2008

Unnecessary flight risks?

The medical helicopter crash in Prince George's County that killed four people last month was one of more than a dozen fatal crashes nationally during the past six years that raise doubts about whether the victims ever needed to leave the ground.

October 7, 2008

Maryland to revise medevac guidelines

In a move that could reduce the number of medevac flights in Maryland, state emergency medical officials announced yesterday that ambulance teams will be required to consult with doctors before deciding whether flying some accident victims to a trauma center is better than driving them to a local hospital.

October 5, 2008

Advantages of medevac transport challenged

Even as emergency medical officials in Maryland consider stricter criteria for flying patients, in the wake of last weekend's fatal medevac helicopter crash in Prince George's County, some trauma specialists think they should be exploring a more fundamental question:

October 1, 2008

Copter crash raises doubt

The two young women whose car crash in Charles County prompted a medevac flight that turned fatal early Sunday had only bruises and pain after the auto accident but no apparent injuries so severe they indicated need for a helicopter transport to a trauma center, officials said yesterday.

October 1, 2008

Criteria for transport to trauma center

Maryland emergency workers use these guidelines to determine whether a patient needs to be taken to a trauma center rather than a local hospital emergency room. If a trauma center is more than 30 minutes away by ambulance, the patient is transported by medevac helicopter. The fatal medevac trip this weekend was judged warranted based on the intrusion of an object into the car, not the injuries of the patients.

September 10, 2008

State police defend the 12-copter medevac fleet

State police officials tried yesterday to reassure critics in the General Assembly that Maryland's emergency medical transport system was in capable hands despite a recent audit detailing numerous maintenance and management deficiencies at the police-run helicopter fleet.

September 5, 2008

Medevac copters' usage curtailed, legislators told

Maryland's medevac program this year implemented changes designed to reduce unnecessary use of state police helicopters, a senior official told lawmakers in Annapolis this morning.

September 4, 2008

Spotlight on state Medevac system

Almost half of the patients flown by helicopter to Maryland trauma centers are released within 24 hours, making some lawmakers wonder whether the state's vaunted Medevac system is overused.

August 22, 2008

Audit seen as threat to medevac overhaul

A sharply critical legislative audit of the state's medevac operation could jeopardize the General Assembly's willingness to spend more than $100 million on overhauling the state police unit's aging 12-helicopter fleet, a key lawmaker said yesterday.

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