Diabetic Air Transport

Safely transporting patients since 1987


Nov 30, 2017

Every year November is designated American Diabetes Month. As we conclude the month, it a good time for those with this chronic illness and the people that love them to assess their readiness in an emergency. One thing that might not occur to you is how to prepare for medical air transport. Riding in an air ambulance isn’t like any other kind of travel, so preparedness matters.

Patients with diabetes or any other very sensitive medical condition should think about keeping a checklist on hand for emergency situations that might require medical air transport. It starts with knowing what items you need to have with you for the trip.


Think bigger than just the standard picture I.D. Diabetic patients should carry with them a list of contacts, both personal and professional. The list should include the name and phone number of their primary care physician and endocrinologist along with those of close family members, especially the one designated as the medical proxy. This is the person called upon to make medical decisions in case the patient cannot make them.

The documentation should also include any insurance paperwork such as the ID and confirmation numbers for upcoming procedures. Having all paperwork together in one safe place saves time once the air ambulance lands at the designated facility.


Most anyone with a chronic illness including diabetes needs to carry with them a list of all medications they take including over the counter products. Ideally, the patient, a friend or family member will place all the medications in a travel bag and send them with the medical air transport.

Having the actual bottles provides the flight care team and the medical staff at the designated facility with critical information. At the very least, keep a printout of the names of the medications and the dosage information.


An air ambulance is not a commercial airplane, so storage space is limited. If possible, check with the air ambulance service prior to transport to see if they have room for a small carry-on and what size is acceptable. Patients should be able to carry a small bag — carry on size — with them to the hospital. Packing comfortable sleepwear and a few toiletries will make the time away from home better. Usually, air transport staff are able to transfer the bag with the patient.

No two medical transport services are the same just like no two diabetic patients have the exact same needs. Call MEDWAY and let the knowledgeable staff here help make the arrangements for you or a loved one to travel safely.