The distance beyond which helicopter transport is faster than ground for interfacility transfer of trauma patients has not been established. Our objective was to determine whether such a threshold exists.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted involving 243 patients transported by land and 139 patients by air from 13 sites during a 3-year period. Time intervals between critical events were compared for the two modes of transport at each site.
The time interval between the decision to transfer and the actual departure time was shorter for patients transferred by land from all sites studied (mean 41.3 versus 89.7 minutes, p