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Volume 5 Supplement 6

First International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine for Latin America:

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Long distance aeromedical transport post myocardial infarction


Long distance aeromedical transport of patients post myocardial infarction (MI) occurs with increasing frequency. Despite the benefits of early transport, there are potential risks. Data documenting the frequency of complications are lacking, and guidelines for aeromedical transport post MI are nonexistent.


To determine the safety of long distance aeromedical transport post MI and identify risk factors associated with transport-related complications.


Analysis of data from a retrospective study of long distance aeromedical transports performed by Montreal-based Skyservice Lifeguard transport service. (A manuscript describing this study has been accepted for publication in the journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.) For patients transported by Lear Jet air ambulance post MI, potential risk factors examined included age, gender, Killip class, revascularization procedures, and status at time of transportation (days since admission, chest pain free interval, intravenous medications, and oxygen use).


A total of 51 patients were transported by air ambulance during the study period. There were no major complications. Minor inflight complications (ie chest pain, desaturation, or hypotension) occurred in 10% of patients and resolved rapidly with onboard medical intervention. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analysis of the potential risk factors will be presented.


Long distance aeromedical transport post MI may be safely performed with a low incidence of minor complications that are easily manageable inflight. Delaying transport 48-72 h after resolution of chest pain reduces the incidence of complications. Practice guidelines for long distance air ambulance transport of post-MI patients need to be established.

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Essebag, V., Lutchmedial, S., Wolfson, C. et al. Long distance aeromedical transport post myocardial infarction. Crit Care 5 (Suppl 6), P3 (2001).

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