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    Overview of aeromedical transport worldwide; modes of medical transport; helicopters used for medical transport; safety in and around helicopters; F/W aircraft used for medical transport; aircraft safety; the risks of air travel; aeromedical equipment; communications and co-ordination; operational limitations and constraints.

    This practical paper details the clinical and operational aspects of the transfer of critically ill patients by air.

    About this paper

    Paper title Operational Aspects of Aeromedical Transport
    Subject Aviation Medicine
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,103.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to
    MAvMed, MHealSc, PGCertAeroRT, PGDipAeroRT, PGDipHealSc

    Healthcare professionals currently employed, or interested in work, in the aviation medicine industry.

    If you have not already done so, please contact the department for course advice before selecting your programme,

    Teaching staff

    Gareth Richards

    Niall McMahon

    Paper Structure

    Core paper for the Postgraduate Certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport (PGCertAeroRT) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport (PGDipHealSc(AeroRT))

    Part of the Master of Aviation Medicine (MAvMed) and the Master of Health Sciences endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport (MHealSc(AeroRT)).

    Teaching Arrangements

    This Distance Learning paper is taught remotely.

    It is taught in odd years in the Second Semester.

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.
    Course outline

    This paper largely deals with the 'aero' part of aeromedical - that is, the aviation aspects of aeromedical operations. Subsequently, there is not a lot of clinical content in this paper (though we do review the physiology of flight in the final module). Why, you may ask, spend so much time on non-medical content in what is an 'aeromedical' programme? The answer is that as a clinical aeromedical professional you will spend a large part of your working life in and around aircraft and working at the interface between medicine and aviation: both of which are highly complex, highly regulated, and high-risk work environments.

    Aeromedical clinicians should have a solid, albeit basic, understanding of the operational limitations of aviation and how these impact on aeromedical missions. Armed with this understanding, clinicians will have better situational awareness of aviation-related risks, and the quality of communication and teamwork with flight crew will be improved. This will allow the flight crew and clinicians to work together more effectively to ensure the success and safety of the aeromedical mission and ultimately will ensure the safety of the patient.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork, global perspective, lifelong learning, communication, critical thinking, self-motivation, teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Graduates of the paper will be able to:

    1. Describe the relative strengths and weaknesses, and risks and benefits of a range of platforms for patient transport
    2. Apply their understanding of the design and function of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft to the selection of aeromedical aircraft for a particular aeromedical service or aeromedical tasking
    3. Apply their understanding of the aviation aspects of an aeromedical service (including a basic understanding of aviation operations, aviation operational limitations, and aviation safety) in the role of a clinician within the wider aeromedical team
    4. Apply their knowledge of the effects of the aviation environment on medical equipment and patient physiology in order to anticipate potential impacts on patient care during the aeromedical transfer


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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