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J Travel Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;16(6):391-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1708-8305.2009.00340.x.

Decision criteria of immediate aeromedical evacuation.

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1
Mondial Assistance France, Medical Department, Paris, France. francois-xavier.duchateau@mondial-assistance.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The decision whether to immediately evacuate an international traveler who has become ill is a challenge for physicians of aeromedical evacuation companies. The aim of this study is to characterize international aeromedical evacuations in order to identify predictive factors that indicate urgent evacuation.

METHODS:

The records from all consecutive aeromedical evacuations and overseas repatriations carried out by Mondial Assistance France between August 2006 and July 2007 were reviewed for this study. Patients were allocated to one of two groups: those requiring immediate aeromedical evacuation by air-ambulance and those whose condition allowed subsequent, nonurgent repatriation. Data were compared between the two groups.

RESULTS:

Overseas repatriations numbering 402 were executed: 35 immediate aeromedical evacuations with air-ambulance and 367 nonurgent repatriations. Age < or =15 years [odds ratio (OR), 7.0; 95% CI, 1.6-30.6], whether there was a high standard structure in the country (OR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.09-0.85), and location in sub-Saharan Africa (OR, 12.6; 95% CI, 2.3-71.4) were independent factors indicating the need for immediate aeromedical evacuation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patient age, availability of local resources, and locations are the criteria associated with the need for immediate aeromedical evacuation. Creation of a specific standardized scoring system based on these criteria could be of great value to help physicians of aeromedical evacuation companies in initial management of cases.

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