Save Our Air Medical Resources (S.O.A.R.) is a national campaign dedicated to preserving access to emergency air medical services for Americans across the country.
Why It Matters
This service is a critical element of emergency response, especially for communities living in rural areas where access to trauma care facilities is limited.
With many rural hospitals closing their doors and an aging population, the need for air medical services is growing.
Unfortunately, due to insufficient insurance reimbursement rates, many providers of air medical services are being forced to close bases and wind down operations, leaving rural communities at greater risk. The S.O.A.R. campaign supports efforts at the federal and state level to prevent this from happening. We are dedicated to ensuring that the millions of Americans across the country who rely on air medical resources continue to have access to them. Learn More →
85 million Americans
85 million Americans live more than an hour from a Level 1 or Level 2 trauma center if driven by ambulance. Without air medical transport service, these people - 1 in 4 of the population - literally have no way to get to trauma centers within the time-sensitive window for optimizing trauma care.
90 percent of patients who use air medical services are transported because they have suffered serious cardiac event, stroke or trauma. Air medical service extends the reach of hospitals and trauma centers so millions of Americans in rural areas have access to them.
Since 1990, 22% of rural hospitals have closed. Since 2010, those hospitals have closed at a rate of one per month. Today, hundreds more are on the brink of closure. The result is patients must travel farther to get emergency care.
The Hill: Trauma patients need federal policies that support effective emergency response
By Dr. Dar Kavouspour
Everyday, emergency rooms and trauma center physicians and nurses across America work tirelessly to save the lives of patients who come to them in grave conditions. Whether they’re suffering from a severe injury in a car accident, experiencing a heart attack or stroke, a third degree burn, or some other terrible circumstance, these patients’ lives end up in the hands of the trauma physicians like me who receive them upon entering an emergency facility.
But often before then, these patients’ lives are in the hands of the ground and air responders who arrive on scene and who transport them to the ER or trauma center. I see first-hand on a daily basis how much this element of patient care matters: the seconds and minutes leading up to their arrival at an emergency facility can have life-or-death implications. In other words, the speed in which a patient is transported to us can literally determine their life or death.
I urge Washington policymakers to take this reality into serious consideration as they craft any legislation that would impact the ability of emergency response services, including emergency air medical transport by helicopter, to carry out their critical missions.
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