Ιακωβίδου Νικολέττα, Καθηγήτρια, Ιατρική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Ξάνθος Θεόδωρος, Καθηγητής, Ευρωπαικό Παν/μιο Κύπρου
Χαλκιάς Αθανάσιος, Επίκουρος Καθηγητής, Ιατρική Σχολή, Θεσσαλία
Background: In Greece, the incidents of air travel are a strong phenomenon. Οn the one hand due to the geomorphological morphology, as an insular country, and on the other hand due to the significant increase in the number of both domestic and foreign travelers.
Aim: The objective of the present study is to describe the characteristics of patients in need of emergency air transfer to a tertiary hospital, regarding Greek private sector.
Materials and methods: Retrospective evaluation of records from patients transferred by air ambulance, aged >1 year, from November 2017, to December 2019. Demographic and medical data of the patients, in addition to geographic conditions and flight duration data were all analyzed. Data were collected by "Athens Assistance", an independent private medical company specialized in air medical transfer services.
Results: A total of 268 patients were included in the study presenting summer (52.2%), as the period with the most medical air transfers, while the most common causes were traumatic (58.2%) mainly concerning orthopedic (29.1%) and cardiovascular (22.1%) complications, with most significant indications those of femoral fractures (15.7%) and acute myocardial infarctions (13.8%). The islands with the highest incidence were Kos (13.4%), Santorini (10.4%) and Mykonos (11.6%). Moreover, we also found a correlation between age and type of aircrafts (p<0.05), type of diagnosis and the geographical areas in which the incident occurred (p<0.05), the nationality of the patients (p<0.05), and the reason for initial admission (p<0.05). Most incidents concerned patients from Europe (78.4%), including Greece (11.9%).
Conclusion: The patient’s age, the type of the aircraft used, the place of departure and also medical characteristics, such as the type of diagnosis and the etiology of hospital admission, are among the most important characteristics for the understanding and management of air medical transfer in Greece, according to the private sector.