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Marie Marvingt and the Development of Aeromedical Evacuation

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Abstract:

Lam DM. Marie Marvingt and the development of aeromedical evacuation. Aviat Space Environ Med 2003; 74:863–868.

The development of air ambulances was one of the most important advances in military medicine in the 20th century. It is often forgotten today how difficult a task it was to achieve military, governmental, popular, and medical support in the early years of the century for this then-heretical concept. While many individuals were involved in this development, one of the most influential and effective proponents was Mademoiselle Marie Marvingt, of France. One of the foremost sportswomen of her day, she was a free balloon pilot, a surgical nurse, and the third woman in the world to receive her fixed-wing pilot’s license. In the area of air evacuation, she was a true visionary, ordering the construction of an air ambulance in 1912, and devoting the remainder of her long life to gaining its full acceptance in the medical armamentarium. Unlike many visionaries, she lived to see the full adoption of her proposals; her efforts should forever be remembered whenever an air ambulance is seen.

Keywords: air ambulance; aviation sanitaire; medevac; patient transport

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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