Many times when discussing critically ill patients, especially in a trauma situation, it is common to hear the phrase "golden hour" when referring to the timeline of receiving medical care. But what is the golden hour, and why is it important?
The golden hour refers to the window of time in which a patient needs to receive treatment following a trauma to have the best chance at survival. The designated time frame was originally defined as exactly what the name implies— 60 minutes— however, this number has evolved over time.
In order to achieve the patient receiving treatment within the golden hour, air medical transportation services often come into play. For example, when someone experiences a trauma in a rural area several miles from the nearest hospital and the drive time for a transport via ground ambulance is too long, first responders typically rely on air ambulance services to get the patient to a medical facility as quickly as possible.
The notion of a golden hour can also apply in non-emergent cases where the patient hasn't experienced trauma, but rather has another pressing medical issue. This can include transplant recipients in need of transport to receive an available organ and patients seeking crucial treatment for a serious illness such as cancer. In these cases, the golden hour is used in a broader sense, referring to the need for a timely transport, rather than a literal 60-minute time frame.
In addition to providing patients with a fast method of transport, air ambulance services also have the added benefit of having specialized medical staff on board that are uniquely trained to care for the patient's needs in flight. Aero Med Express's fixed-wing air ambulance also carries cruicial medical equipment to serve every patient's needs, including a ventilator, cardiac monitor and IV infusion pumps. In a time-critical situation, having knowledgeable staff and well-maintained equipment available can be the difference between a positive and negative outcome for the patient.
Whether after a trauma occurs, or in a non-emergency instance, using air ambulance services is a key aspect of providing transport within the golden hour window of time to ensure a patient's best chance at making a full recovery. For additional information about our air ambulance services, call Aero Med Express at 800-842-8555 or complete our Contact Form to receive a quote.