8 Key Air Medical Transport Tips for Geriatric Patients

Posted on October 31, 2018

Tips for finding effective ways for the medical transportation of geriatric patients

The geriatric population of America is on the rise and is expected to reach 98 million by 2060. With a growing population of geriatrics who indulge in leisure and travel, the need for geriatric patient transport facilities has become ever more pressing. Geriatrics, as any other age group may require medical evacuation; if they suffer from an injury or illness while away from home, especially if this occurs in a remote area.

However like any other age group, these patients face social, physical to cognitive challenges of their own; requiring the crew to fully understand their needs to carry out an effective geriatric patient transport. Below mentioned are key air medical transportation tips for geriatric patients:

Travel Companion

The medical environment may induce a sense of discomfort or insecurity in these patients, where this may escalate if they are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. The medical crew should therefore be aware of the needs of cognitively dysfunctional geriatric patients and be equipped to better facilitate them. Having a travel companion may bring some level of comfort to these patients. However it is equally important to understand that the travel companions too may be frail, requiring specialized techniques to be adopted when boarding and keeping them comfortable.

Comfort Level

Geriatric patients are likely to be more sensitive to changes in weather than other age groups, leaving them feeling uncomfortable. It is therefore advisable that the crew takes measures without assuming that if the geriatric patient is not asking for help, they may not need it. So don't just guess--ask the patient about their comfort level. From extending blankets to help keep them warm, to covering their head when heading out; there are several simple measures that will ensure their comfort.

Oxygen Needs

Chronic conditions such as respiratory insufficiencies and congestive heart, coupled with susceptibility to changes in altitude may require expert oxygen administration. The crew should therefore be prepared to provide assistance of this nature.

Medication Alterations

Metabolization of medication to treat stress and anxiety levels may vary for this age group. Where severe sensitivities could lead to medical conditions like delirium, cognitive impairment, increased anxiety, itching and restlessness. A thorough geriatric assessment is therefore required in order to avoid medication that may cause such adverse reaction.

Skincare Provision

Geriatric assessment would reveal if the patient is likely to suffer from skin breakdown during travel. Provisions to ensure the comfort of the patient such as placing them on a padded stretcher, whereby changing their position frequently should be in place.

Keeping Hydrated

Geriatric patients may suffer from dehydration while travelling and to ensure they stay hydrated, fluids by mouth and lotion application on skin needs to be considered.

Lifting & Movement

There are chances that normal body cushioning of geriatric patients may be diminished and lifting & moving should be carefully executed. It is important to use linen, pillows and blankets to help protect them, whereby making the journey as comfortable as possible. Creative packaging, padding or movement techniques should be employed if the geriatric patient is suffering from conditions like kyphosis and extreme.

Effective Communication

Building a rapport with these patients, along with effective communication is really important. The medical team should understand that may not willingly want to take you through their medical history as they may have done it several times before. Unfamiliar surroundings, coupled with their physical condition may require the crew to exercise more care.

Geriatric Patient Transport Care by AirMed

At AirMed, we ensure safe and effective geriatric patient transport, whereby taking every possible measure to meet the special needs of geriatric patients. Our crew can capably provide basic to highest level of critical care. Moreover, assessments and interventions are tailored for this population to better facilitate their needs.