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Injured in a car crash? Take the chopper, not the ambulance

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out: As Andrew Seaman reports for Reuters, people who sustain serious injury in motor vehicle accidents, like getting T-boned by a tractor trailer, have a better chance of surviving if they're taken by helicopter, rather than ambulance, to the hospital.

Research scientists cite the "speed of transport" as a possible factor in improving survival outcomes for those who hitch a ride on the chopper rather than the ambulance. Another cited possibility is the presence of a medical team onboard the chopper, though there are usually medical teams on ambulances as well.

Seaman reports that motor vehicle accidents were the "most common cause of injury" in the study, a study which ostensibly aims to improve patient outcomes in the event of mishap on the roadways - though it's not clear whether a helicopter is a practical choice in the majority of circumstances.

"It certainly doesn't make sense to take a helicopter if you are within 30 minutes by ground," says the chief research scientist. "[But] if it was my family member, I'd want them flown if they didn't have timely access to a trauma center."

Source: Trauma patients taken by chopper may fare better

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