Overuse of Helicopter Transportation for Burn Patients – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Overuse of Helicopter Transportation for Burn Patients

Emily Azhari


Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Amanda Bettencourt, Research Fellow
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Systems, Populations, and Leadership, School of Nursing
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 14
Presenter: 3

Event Link


Far too many burn patients are experiencing additional suffering through the use of unnecessary helicopter transportation to specialized burn facilities. This study looks at gathered burn patient data in the state of Michigan and looks at the factors related to helicopter transport of certain patients. Inappropriate helicopter burn patient transport to specialized burn centers is often costly, excessive, and traumatic for patients- particularly those who only have minimal burns. However, it is clear that the burn centers are benefiting from this excessive transport, as it does help certain burn units meet their patient quotas and remain in business. We are examining current burn education, telemedicine opportunities, faulty and discriminatory practices, and other factors, to determine if these areas are in need of improvement. Overall, we aim to help transform medical practice and reduce unnecessary helicopter transport of burn patients. These findings may be generalized to burn care providers everywhere, even beginning with reforms in schooling. In advocating for the patient, our team of health science-minded professionals aims to provide quality patient and family-centered care for burn patients everywhere, without additional healthcare costs.

Authors: Emily Azhari, June Chung, Amanda Bettencourt, Gary Vercruysse, Kristian Sieler
Research Method: Data Collection and Analysis
Will be published in the Journal of Burn Medicine, but not currently available

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