Aeromedical Evacuation of the Neurosurgical Patient

  • Daniel J. Donovan
  • Matthew A. Borgman
  • Rose M. Leary-Wojcik
  • Mick J. Perez-Cruet


Patients with head or spine injury or disease are at high risk for life-altering disability and death. To minimize this risk, it is essential that they receive proper initial management and stabilization, appropriate and timely surgical care, and transport to and from facilities where this care is available. Transport is particularly important when the illness or injury occurs in austere environments such as a combat theater or natural disaster. In such situations, long-distance aeromedical evacuation (AE) is often required to offer patients the best chance of survival and functional recovery. This chapter describes the most common neurologic illnesses and injuries requiring urgent specialty care and AE, including traumatic brain injury, skull fractures, various types of intracranial bleeds, and spinal cord injuries. Standard diagnostic and treatment approaches are summarized, emphasizing monitoring methods used during the acute recovery phase, such as intracranial pressure monitoring. Implications for AE and potential complication and their treatments are provided for each condition.


Neurosurgery Traumatic brain injury Intracranial hemorrhage Spinal cord injury 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Donovan
    • 1
  • Matthew A. Borgman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rose M. Leary-Wojcik
    • 4
  • Mick J. Perez-Cruet
    • 5
  1. 1.COL, MC, USAR, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Hawaii John A. Burns School of MedicineHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.LTC, MC, USAPediatric Critical Care Services, Brook Army Medical Center Simulation Center, Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam HoustonSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsF. Edward Hebert School of Medicine - Uniformed Services UniversityBethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Col, USAF, MC (ret.), Oral & Maxillofacial SurgeryGood Samaritan ClinicDeLandUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryOakland University William Beaumont School of MedicineRoyal OakUSA

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