Despite the environmental challenges faced by the patient during transfer, the majority of problems arising are due to logistic reasons rather a deterioration in the patient's condition, provided that the patient has been adequately assessed and prepared for the journey. In an unpublished audit of air ambulance transfers the most common problems encountered were untoward, and causes included:
• Equipment failure, power failure
• Delay in ambulance or aircraft
• Problem with medical liaison and transfer of care of patient to transporting team
• Customs clearance for drugs and equipment
• Injury to medical staff, particularly in loading and unloading
• Aircraft problems, such as oil leaks, cabin decompression and other mechanical failures, some requiring emergency landing.
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