Medevac Operations Malaysia | Life Flight Process

Medevac Operation

Importance of Medical Evacuation


Medical evacuation or medevac is usually called upon when the patient is gravely ill or is critically injured but could not be sent to emergency health facilities in a short time by normal means. Upon receiving emergency call from patient, authorization for medical evacuation is needed. After the air transports are being deployed to the incident scene, the site doctor or medical personnel will determine the best method and destination for medical evacuation after assessing the severity of the case, either ferrying the patient or victim to the nearby health facilities by air or by land.

What is the purpose of having a medical evacuation? Medical evacuation or medevac is usually called upon when the patient is gravely ill or is critically injured but could not be sent to emergency health facilities in a short time by normal means. This may be due to unfavourable road conditions that hamper road transportation or medical aid is in immediate need for life-saving purpose.

As such operations require a high level of proficiency and alertness, Standard Operating Procedures are to be followed strictly, bound by universally accepted guidelines and protocols. Upon receiving an emergency call from patient, authorization for medical evacuation is needed and the authorising manager is responsible for making the decision after advice from the relevant doctor. Such notification will firstly be received by the radio operator of the air ambulance service and directed to the field general manager and clinic as well. After the air transport like helicopters or aircrafts are being deployed to the incident scene, the site doctor or medical personnel will determine the best method and destination for medical evacuation after assessing the severity of the case, either ferrying the patient or victim to the nearby health facilities by air or by land. If the case or incident is very severe or the incident site is too far away from any medical assistance (oil rig, mountainous range), then air transport will be used. Otherwise, land ambulance may be deployed instead.

To break it down further, situations which require different modes of evacuation are stated as below. Airplanes and helicopter flights
• Site doctor will assess the situation and condition as well to determine the incident scene is fit for air transport. Incident scenes that happen on sea oil rig or mountainous region usually require the use of helicopters due to landing and versatility compared to air craft.

• Site doctor will also assess the medical evacuation destination depending on the availability of the required medical facilities and distance from the incident site. Normally doctors will opt for nearest health care facilities for life- threatening cases.