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The difference between medevac and casevac?

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The difference between medevac and casevac?

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Ever heard of the terms medevac and casevac? Well, these two words are combinations – Casevac is for Causality Evacuation whereas Medevac is for Medical Evacuation. The basics are the same as both refer to transportation of passengers who require urgent medical care and quick conveyance to the medical centre. It might be confusing but both these terms are used differently and have different meanings. Before going into the differences between Casevac and Medevac, let’s understand them first:

What is Casevac or Casualty Evacuation?

Casevac is casualty evacuation – it is a term that is generally used in the military and refers to the transportation of those individuals whether civilians or soldiers, who are critically ill or have a serious medical injury. It implies that these patients need to receive urgent medical care. Casevac is done in the condition where time is of critical importance and the patient is literally in a life or death situation. So, the aircraft or vehicle that is opted for the purpose might not be purpose-built. Rather, a general-purpose aircraft can also be used since the main purpose is to ensure that the patient reaches the medical center within an hour without waiting for a specialized aircraft or vehicle that is used during medevac.

The aircraft or vehicles that are used during casevac are not equipped for en-route medical care and might have limited medical resources only. Usually, the rotor-powered aircraft are used for the purposes such as helicopters as they can land on any terrain and don’t require a designated runway for taking off. Usually, casevac is sent to the scene of the incident where the injured patient is waiting for a quick response and his medical condition is worsening. So the best option is to airlift him and transfer him to the medical center to get treatment from expert medical professionals.

What is Medevac or Medical Evacuation?

Medevac or Medical evacuation is quite different from casevac as it involves organized transportation of individuals from one place to another. The medical flight is equipped with all the necessary medical care and an expert panel of medical professionals accompanies the patients to offer medical care during the travel route. 

The aircraft or vehicles that are used for medevac, unlike casevac are specific and are loaded with medical equipment and are referred to as air ambulances.

Casevac Vs Medevac 

  • Casevac is an urgent transportation that usually occurs in warzones and the aircraft are usually armed whereas the medevac aircraft are protected by the Geneva Convention and the aircraft are unarmed.
  • Casevac means evacuation of the injured to the nearest medical care point without accompanying the medical staff whereas medevac involves an expert team of professionals on standby during the transportation of the patient.
  • Casevac flights are usually very short distanced whereas medevac flights can cover medium to long-range flights as well.

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