Air Ambulance America: Wings of Medicine

Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU)

An abbreviation for a mobile intensive care unit is an MICU. It could be a ground, sea, or air based unit that is medically equipped to take care of all kinds of patients. Most MICU units are used to transport patients who could not travel otherwise. Aircrafts that have an MICU on them are usually somewhat of a cross between an ICU(Intensive Care Unit) and CCU(Coronary Care Unit). Imagine a miniature version of an ER room that is put into a van, RV, or airplane. The amount of space is more limited in airplanes so the equipment is smaller and limited usually to what the patient needs. Also, equipment on an aircraft such as the stretcher is regulated by the FAA. In contrast, in a truck or van that is an MICU unit, the standard of quality is often governed only by the State.

However, there are also MICU units built to take care of patients in remote locations. These would generally be used for disaster relief in large and small scale occurences. There are also MICU units built for disease control, which have a whole different set of criteria, equipment, and uses.

MICU - Ground or Air?

Generally speaking, it is better to go by ground within a distance of 200 miles.(If there is no emergency.) Anything more than that, it is not only usually a more comfortable ride, but is less expensive for the patient to ride in an air MICU (air ambulance).




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