On October 15, a helicopter that was carrying a 1-year-old infant having a seizure and three medical personnel crashed, killing all four and bringing the total killed in medical helicopter crashes this year to 28.
Medical helicopters are supposed to be saving the lives of critically-ill patients, not killing them and medical personnel along with them. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made four recommendations for increasing the safety of medical helicopter flights in 2006; this most recent crash made the board question why the FAA hadn't implemented the recommendations yet.
The NTSB has placed improved safety of EMS flights on its list of "most wanted" security improvements for 2008.
To learn more about the safety efforts:
- read this AMNews piece