State Helicopters Are Flying Much Less After Fatal Crash in Pr. George’s – washingtonpost.com
Maryland has seen a dramatic drop in the number of patients flown to hospitals since the September crash of a Maryland State Police helicopter killed three rescue workers and a patient.
If the trend holds, there will be fewer than 1,700 air transports in the 12 months following the September crash, compared with about 4,100 in fiscal 2008. The state’s aeromedical director, Douglas J. Floccare, told the experts yesterday that he worries that a “skittishness” among ambulance crews might have led them to avoid necessary air transports.
So, either patients aren’t being flown who should be now, or patients who shouldn’t have been were being flown before. (Alternately, there are fewer injuries and illnesses than before, but that’s unlikely). My money is on overuse, but we’ll probably never know.