Wondering why people put so much stock into the work of critical care flight nurses? Read on to find out how these real-life superheroes are changing and saving lives every day!
What is Critical Condition?
When a patient is in critical condition, it typically means they are in great danger. A condition that is critical means that the patient has irregular vital signs that are not within normal ranges or are no longer consistent. A patient in critical condition may or may not be conscious. Body temperature may be too high or too low, pule and respiratory rate may be at either end of the spectrum and oxygen may not be reaching the brain as it should be. If profuse bleeding is present, blood pressure may drop dangerously low and effect these other vital signs. All of these are unfavorable indicators.
Critical but Stable
One phrase that often confuses those outside the medical community is “the patient is critical but stable.” When you hear this, it means that while the patient is in critical condition – which can be very dangerous – it also means that the patient is not worsening and not likely to do so.
Why is this important? Because the job of a critical care flight nurse is to get patients in critical condition stabilized and keep them there. Making sure that a patient is stable can mean the difference between them reaching a hospital or medical center for further treatment and them dying in route. That’s a very important difference!
Why the Skies?
One of the most important reasons for airborne critical care nursing is that there are many locations where disaster strikes and traditional, ground vehicles are unable to reach in adequate time. Say a traveler is stranded on a mountainside. A person from a small village many miles from town falls ill. A woman goes into labor during a disaster that prevents cars and trucks from reaching her location. In all of these situations, a critical care flight nurse can come to the rescue. Flight nursing companies provide medical care to remote areas and disaster situations, as well as transportation to medical facilities that provide ongoing care. They provide the bridge between those in need and the care they should receive, making theirs some of the most important work in the field!
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