Transporting Family Members

Dawn Mancuso dmancuso at
Sat Feb 12 17:49:30 EST 2011

I have read with interest the dialogue on transporting family members,
and thought I could assist by pointing you to a position paper adopted
and approved by AAMS last May. I have attached it here (PDF
format)...hopefully the listserv will accept attachments. You may also
find a copy of it on the AAMS web page ( under Publications
& Products.

This paper is a product of AAMS' Pediatric Transport Special Interest
Group, affectionately known as the KIDS SIG. Anyone who works for an
AAMS member organization may join the KIDS SIG -- if you are interested,
please email me directly at dmancuso at

Hope this is helpful to the group!


Dawn M. Mancuso, MAM, CAE
Executive Director/CEO
Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) &
MedEvac Foundation International
526 King St., Suite 415
Alexandria, VA 22314-3143 USA
Telephone: (703) 836-8732
Facsimile: (703) 836-8920
Email: dmancuso at
Web URL: &
CFC #71906 Foundation for Air-Medical Research and Education (MedEvac
Foundation International)

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Subject: Flightmed Digest, Vol 85, Issue 3

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Today's Topics:

1. RE:Family Presence (Janet Barker)


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 07:02:37 +1300
From: "Janet Barker" <Janet.Barker at>
Subject: RE: Family Presence
To: "Flightmed" <flightmed at>
<77FB51A845CB344F8BDE20B2860F59009C098C at whgexc01.NHL.CO.NZ>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

There is no set policy with our service in NZ, however we do tend to
take a family member on almost every rotorwing flight. All patients we
transport are critically ill - both adults and children - and ground
ambulance times for relatives to get to the receiving destination
hospital are often long. Many families cannot afford the travel costs or
do not have their own transport. We are lucky to use twin pilot
Sikorsky S76 helicopters so have room in the medical interior for a
family member. They receive a comprehensive safety briefing and if we
are at all concerned about the family member's physical health or mental
well being then we do not transport them. In almost 30 years of
aeromedical transport work I can only recall one problem with a relative
in-flight - she had never flown and became very distressed as we
ascended to 5000 feet. We were transporting her very sick child and it
was only by making her concentrate on him that we were able to calm her
down. She spent the entire journey with her eyes closed and a hand
clutched around his lower leg. Luckily the child remained stable - it
could have been a different story if he had been unstable and she had
become hysterical. Like everyone else I guess each case is taken on
its merits at the time and the decisions are made by the staff in the

Janet Barker
Flight Nurse / Northland ICU Flight Team, Whangarei, New Zealand

-----Original Message-----
From: flightmed-bounces at
[mailto:flightmed-bounces at] On Behalf Of Dave Dobson
Sent: Saturday, 12 February 2011 5:44 a.m.
To: flightmed at
Subject: Re: Family Presence

Our service allows family with restrictions. On ground transports we do
allow 1 passenger to ride up front with the EMT/Driver if requested and
if their presence will not interfere with pt care. On rotorwing
transports we will allow 1 parent with pediatric patients. Since we fly
1 pilot IFR they will sit in the copilot seat as long as the dual
controls are not in. They do not ride in the medical interior. We do not
take family along on adult rotorwing transports. On fixed wing flights
it depends on which type/size of the aircraft and the configuration.
Also depends on pt condition and stability. I have taken a father along
on a fixed wing transport with an extremely unstable child w/o any
problems because he was acutely aware of the child's prognosis. Turned
out to be the best decision possible because he was the only family
present when the child arrested and died within 30 min of arrival at the
receiving facility. Nothing ever written in stone, all situation based
and with
discussion with medical control.

David Dobson RN CFRN
Bellin Hospital Eagle III

>>> Jon Lee <jimmy_g_giggles at> 2/6/2011 9:10 AM >>>

Ladies & Gentleman,
I am trying to put together a presentation regarding family presence
during transport. I was curious about what other services are doing.
Do you have a policy regarding family escorts? What does the policy look
Thanks in advance
Jonathan LeeOrnge,Toronto, Ontario

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