Medical News & Perspectives
March 25, 2009

Hearing Probes Helicopter Medevac Safety

JAMA. 2009;301(12):1215-1216. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.366

In 2008, helicopter emergency medical services experienced 13 crashes, resulting in 29 deaths. Leaders in emergency medical transport want to learn why the crashes occurred and how to prevent future ones.

To that end, officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a 4-day fact-finding hearing in February in Washington, DC. A wide range of witnesses, including physicians, helicopter operators, and government regulators, offered testimony to help the board better understand the scope of the problem and evaluate the factors leading to crashes. The NTSB will now decide whether to offer recommendations in hopes of minimizing such crashes.

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