Key Differentiator: Clinical Research in Prehospital Medicine


As prehospital care continues to advance and be supported more by evidence-based outcomes, it is essential that we expand clinical research to provide the most effective treatments for our patients. Clinical research provides invaluable insights into new methods, drugs, devices, and procedures that can help revolutionize patient outcomes.  

At Air Methods, we are committed to research and innovation in prehospital medicine. We are proud to be the only air medical company operating independent community bases to have Institutional Review Board (IRB) Accreditation and Federalwide Assurance (FWA). Complying with Federalwide Assurance means that our organization lets federal agencies know that we will be adhering to regulations for the protection of human research participants. 

What Does IRB Accreditation Mean?

Much like a university hospital, the Institutional Review Board approves research to make sure it applies ethical methodology. The approval includes protecting the rights of human subjects, minimizing risks, and maximizing the potential benefits of research studies. The IRB must approve all studies before they can begin to ensure the study meets all necessary criteria for ethical practices and federal regulations.

With IRB approval, this means Air Methods research is conducted ethically and conforms to the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) research standards. 

Air Methods Clinical Research Efforts 

Clinical research is the scientific study of the effects of medical interventions on humans. This type of research is essential to develop new and improved treatments for a host of medical conditions. Prehospital medicine is a relatively new field and there is a great need for improved research in prehospital care.

Prehospital clinical research is essential in order to improve the care that a patient receives. By conducting rigorous research, we can develop new and better treatments for a variety of medical conditions.

“At Air Methods, providing cutting-edge patient care in the critical care and prehospital environment is a responsibility we take seriously,” says Jeremy Norman, Director of Clinical Research at Air Methods. As such, we have invested in research to find new and innovative ways to improve our patient care and contribute wisely to the published literature in the HEMS industry. Our IRB provides oversight of our internal and partnered research to ensure ethical practices and minimized risk to patients during our projects.”

Our clinical research efforts have achieved an impressive record. To date: 

  • We have obtained approval for 26 active clinical projects, carefully reviewed by the IRB. 
  • Over the last six years, we’ve successfully published 20 clinical research projects studies in medical journals.
  • Air Methods has partnered with additional research partners such as the LITES Network and physicians at the University of Arizona, Emory University, and other academic institutions.

These projects are investigating blood product administration for trauma patients, to rapid sequence intubation, and the development of the HEAVEN Criteria. The results of these studies will help to improve patient care and safety.

Research Topics in Prehospital Medicine

We are dedicated to researching topics in prehospital medicine that include: 

  • Blood carried in flight 
  • Airway management in a prehospital setting
  • Pediatric care
  • Sedation practices
  • Use of specialty equipment in an aircraft

Our prehospital clinical research is essential to the advancement of prehospital medicine. It encompasses a wide range of methodologies, from small-case scenarios to large prospective randomized controlled trials. With our IRB accreditation and Federalwide Assurance, we can conduct these studies with confidence that our methods are ethical and follow the required guidelines for safety and accuracy.

Highlights of Our Most Recent Research 

Our team of researchers has been hard at work investigating topics related to prehospital medicine since 2016. Some notable research highlights include our studies on bolus vasopressor use for air medical rapid sequence intubation (RSI) which studies how the use of bolus vasopressor agents may reverse hypotension and prevent arrest. The study was conducted over a period of two years, enrolled 523 patients, and showed a low rate of rebound hypotension for some patients. 

Another notable research highlight involved an analysis of blood product administration in air medical trauma patients. The goal was to describe the experience of administering blood products by a large air medical team. Early administration of blood products is associated with improved survival from traumatic injury. The study included a total of 1587 trauma patients over a two-year period. 

Both of these studies have had a significant impact on the field of prehospital medicine by providing evidence-based data on best practices during emergency transport scenarios. Researchers can obtain greater clarity on protocols to ensure the highest level of care while providing air medical services. Clearly, research conducted by Air Methods provides insight into how trauma teams can work together to provide the best possible care for our patients who require air medical services. Overall, our research serves as an essential tool in medicine for improving health outcomes for those in need of emergency medical transportation.

At Air Methods, clinical research plays a critical role in ensuring safe patient transport within a prehospital environment. Our commitment to quality through Institutional Review Board (IRB) accreditation allows us to conduct ethical studies that meet Office of Human Research Protection standards for safety and accuracy. As we remain committed to providing the highest quality patient care and safety, we are able to do this, in part, because of our dedication to clinical research in prehospital medicine. 

Opportunities for our healthcare partners

We need you to join the mission of advancing prehospital medicine and improving healthcare standards. By contributing your expertise, creativity, and collaboration in our prehospital medicine research efforts, you can make an impactful difference. Reach out today if this is something that excites you by contacting .  

Want to learn more about Air Methods’ published clinical research? Check out our Clinical Research webpage to read about our published research accomplishments.