An evacuation of a patient to a hospital to where they can be treated is a life flight. Patients are transported around the country and worldwide for a variety of reasons. For instance, many patients who need a special surgery or treatment need to be sent to a hospital that can treat them. Sometimes even organs are flown to hospitals for organ transplants. Yet it is usually the patients that are transported.
Both helicopters and airplanes are used for these types of evacuations. For emergencies, helicopters are used if they are within range and able to travel the route. Helicopters usually can travel between 500-800 kilometers or 310-500 miles at the most.Although they are more expensive than airplanes, they are often used for emergencies because of their ability to land closer to hospitals.
Many of the missions that are completed for a life flight are done with airplanes that are rigged and set up with intensive care units onboard. Middle of the night transplant patients that need to travel to hospitals are included. There are also patients who may be in a city or country that does not have a sufficient standard of care or facilities. Trauma patients are taken to a hospital that can help them.