To life-flight someone means

(transitive, medicine) To transport (a patient) by air ambulance.

What's the translation of a "life-flight" in French? Google Translate and Linguee weren't helpful.

2 Answers 2


I would just say héliporter. It has a wider meaning but the context should tell it's a medical transport.

It implies an helicopter is used though. In case a plane is used instead and the patient is abroad, there is no verb but a common expression is rapatriement sanitaire (Thanks @Gilles for talking about sanitaire here).

  • If helitransport was a word in English, we'd probably use that and not life-flight. But unfortunately, there aren't any good English words meaning héliporter. Mar 5 at 19:52

You'll have more luck trying to translate “medical evacuation” or “medevac”, which is much more common in English than “life flight”. Although it doesn't have to be by air, the term is rarely used for ground transport. You can specify “medical evacuation flight”, but “flight” is typically implied.

The corresponding term in French is “évacuation sanitaire”. To explicitly state that the transport is by air, you can say “vol sanitaire” (Les blessés de Marrakech rapatriés par vol sanitaire). An air ambulance is “une ambulance aérienne”.

  • C'est la première fois que je lis ambulance aérienne. Ça m'évoque une DS blanche avec un gyrophare et des ailes... :-)
    – jlliagre
    Mar 7 at 13:49
  • EVACSAN chez les militaires.(quand au déesse avec des ailes, ça s’écrit pas « DS » 😁)
    – Archemar
    Mar 7 at 16:14

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