The Importance of Sharp Assessment Skills During Medical Air Transport

If you have a seriously ill loved one, chances are that he or she may eventually require the services of a critical care transport nurse to monitor the patient during a flight from one location to another.

While some patients only require help with mobility problems, others are critically ill and depend upon the sharp assessment skills of the flight nurse to detect subtle changes in their conditions so that appropriate interventions can be quickly implemented. Here are some reasons why sharp nursing assessment skills are so important during medical air transport flights.

Prevent Respiratory Failure

Medically fragile patients may be at risk of developing respiratory failure. Sharp nursing assessment skills allow the flight nurse to detect abnormal patterns of breathing such as hyperventilation or shallow breathing.

The flight nurse will also monitor the patient’s lips and fingernails for evidence of cyanosis, which refers to the blue discoloration that can develop as a result of poor oxygenation. When respiratory distress is recognized by the well-trained nurse, he or she can administer oxygen, either via the facial mask route or through nasal prongs.

Reduce Choking Risk

If your loved one is in critical condition during a medical transport flight, the critical care transport nurse will monitor the patient for signs of choking. In addition to food items, medically unstable patients can also choke on saliva and thick mucus.

The nurse will be on the lookout for signs of choking which may include gagging, coughing, hand signals where the patient points to the throat or grabs the neck, or the inability to speak. If warranted, the nurse may perform the Heimlich maneuver to unblock the obstructed airway.

To learn more about medical flight transport services, get in touch with Flying Nurses International LLC by visiting our website at


    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This