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Our Service Begins With You

At MedFlight911, we offer this promise to each and every one of our valued clients: "Our Service Begins with You."

That means from the moment you call our office we will:

  • Go above and beyond to help and serve you.
  • Make the process simple, easy and worry-free.
  • Take care of every detail so you don't have to.
  • Act as your partner and advocate throughout the process.
  • Treat your patient / loved one like family.
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MedFlight911 Blog

Medical Transport and Communicable Diseases

4-facts-about-communicable-diseases-medflight911-air-ambulanceWhether a patient is fit to fly on medical transport is a common question we are faced with. We often deal with communicable diseases on our air ambulances and we take many considerations into account when evaluating each case. Fortunately, one disease we have never had to consider transporting is Ebola. However, we do receive many questions about the disease and medical transport. We thought we would answer some of those questions here.

Last month, we even wrote a blog focused on facts about communicable diseases, specifically Ebola. At time, although several people had received treatment for Ebola in the U.S., no one on U.S. soil had been diagnosed with Ebola. Since then, one patient was diagnosed within U.S. boundaries and most recently, two of his caregivers became the first individuals to contract Ebola in the U.S. What does this mean to the average person on the street? Should you be concerned? The CDC maintains that the risk of a major outbreak, like those seen in Africa, are very slim. So, although your risk is low, it is still important to be educated about the disease.

Facts about Ebola

  • Ebola virus is not spread through casual contact, air, water or food grown or legally purchased in the U.S. In this regard, it differs from other illnesses like the flu or measles which can be airborne and, as a result, are significantly more contagious.
  • You can catch Ebola through direct contact with:Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died form Ebola.Objects contaminated with the virus like needles or other medical equipmentInfected animals through their blood or other body fluid or through the consumption of infected meat
  • Early symptoms of the disease include: fever, headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, unexplained bleeding or bruising, and muscle pain. Symptoms can begin anywhere from 2-21 days after exposure. A person is only contagious when they are exhibiting symptoms. If, after 21 days, an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola. Since the early symptoms of Ebola closely mimic the flu, hospitals are reinforcing their questioning protocols and asking sick individuals if they recently traveled to Africa, and now possibly, Texas

Ebola, like other communicable disease, requires specialized protocols and training. As always, when flying, patient safely is our first priority. We take every opportunity to make our patients feel safe, comfortable, and respected while traveling with us. We also go above and beyond to make certain our staff is protected and careful while working.

To find out more about MedFlight911's worldwide air ambulance services, give us a call at 888-359-1911 to get a no-obligations air medical transport quote here.

For more information about being fit to fly, check out our previous blogs:
Tough Decisions: When a Patient Isn't Fit to Fly
When Are You Safe to Fly with MedFlight911?
4 Facts about Communicable Diseases

Stepping Stones of Hope – A Resource for MedFlight911 Families

stepping-stones-of-hope-medflight911-air-ambulanceOn an everyday basis at MedFlight911, we work with families who need medical transport. Whether it be medical transport via air ambulance, medical motor coach, or with the assistance of an air medical escort, the one constant is that we are dealing with families who are in crisis. Families who need assistance transporting loved ones. Families who are researching long term care options or arranging hospice care for their loved. Families who may be facing end of life decisions. Families whose lives changed suddenly. So, while there is laughter, joy and smiles on a daily basis at work, we also deal with a great deal of grief. As a result, we were so fortunate to find a local charity as a resource for our families. For the past 6 years, we have been lucky to work with Stepping Stones of Hope.

Stepping Stones of Hope offers supportive services to grieving families and children. This support comes in the form of multiple programs that use art, music, role-playing and other age-appropriate activities to help children come to terms with their grief.

This weekend, Stepping Stones of Hope will be hosting their Camp Paz. Camp Paz is an overnight, weekend camp for grieving children ages 6-18 and their families. Stepping Stones of Hope works tirelessly to create a neutral and safe environment that fosters both friendships and profound healing. In addition to Camp Paz, Stepping Stones also provides camps specifically for families, for children ages 6-17, teen camps for ages 13-18 and camps for adults. They also provide supportive resources on grief for primary and secondary educational institutions, hospitals, and first responder agencies.

At MedFlight911, we work with families every day who are dealing with illness, sometimes acute, sometimes chronic or even fatal. Some of the families we deal with are not facing a happy ending at the conclusion of their journey. However, it lightens our hearts and our loads to know that charities, like Stepping Stones of Hope, exist to help these families.

For more information on MedFlight911's ongoing relationship with Stepping Stones of Hope, check out these blogs:

To find out more about Stepping Stones of Hope's programs, check out their website.

To find out more about MedFlight911's worldwide air ambulance services give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.

Decompression Illness & Medical Transport 

decompression-illness-medical-transport-medflight911-air-ambulanceAt MedFlight 911, we offer multiple types of medical transport: air ambulance, medical motor coach, and air medical escorts to name a few. When deciding on the right type of medical transport, we take many factors into consideration: the patient's illness, their medical and emotional needs, the patient's financial restrictions, travel distance and who may be traveling with the patient. In one of our most interesting cases, we even had to consider our flying altitude. Due to her illness, our patient couldn't travel at standard commercial airline altitude. This is was an unusual case that required specialized protocol, so imagine our surprise when we saw a similar case in the press.

In this case, the patient, 64 year old Terry Begnoche was diving in Lake Superior. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he was forced to ascend 220 feet too quickly; a trip that should have taken Begnoche 45 minutes, took him only two minutes! Begnoche immediately knew he was in trouble - his rapid ascent caused nitrogen bubbles to form in his bloodstream, cutting off blood to his spinal cord and other parts of his body. He was diagnosed with the "bends" or decompression sickness. Bergnoche was air evacuated to a local hospital and then transported via low flying air ambulance to another facility for treatment protocol so rare that doctors "looked up in the U.S. Navy Diving Manual." After spending 53 hours in a decompression chamber, Begnoche jokes that he no longer resembles a human soda bottle. Begnoche is feeling significantly better, but a full recovery is still in question.

Although, decompression treatment is rare, MedFlight911 safely transported a patient in similar straits. Our patient was celebrating her birthday with a diving vacation when she developed decompression sickness. We were able to transport her from vacation in the Caribbean to a special type of hyperbaric chamber in Miami. To read more about her medical transport and the special measures we took to ensure her safety, click here. To find out more about how to avoid the "bends" while diving, click here.

To find out more about MedFlight911's worldwide air ambulance services give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.

what-non-emergent-care-means-medflight911-air-ambulanceWhat Non-Emergent Care Means

One of the most common questions we receive at MedFlight911 is how often do we land our helicopter on the roof on a hospital? Often when people think of an air ambulance, they visualize a helicopter swooping down at a major accident. And, while emergency medical personnel may call for a helicopter rather than using a ground ambulance if the patient has a life-threatening injury and needs to get to a trauma center very quickly; ground ambulance and helicopter air ambulances aren't the only form of medical transport. And air ambulances aren't just used to save car crash victims.

Many times, air ambulances are used for patients in non-emergent, or nonemergency, situations. Patients in non-emergent situations don't need to be transported immediately, yet the patient still needs the care of an air ambulance. Perhaps the patient needs hospice treatment closer to home, or the patient has a traumatic brain injury and needs to move to a different hospital for treatment. Sometimes, the patient is elderly and simply wants to be closer to relatives. Other times, the patient fell ill while travelling abroad and needs to get back to the U.S. for treatment. These are examples of the kinds of patients whose situations we would classify as non-emergent. In those situations, a fixed-wing aircraft (airplane) is often used, rather than the rotor-wing aircraft (helicopter) people commonly associate with the term "air ambulance."

So, why do we use a fixed-wing aircraft instead of a helicopter for air medical transport? If a patient needs to travel a long distance, a fixed-wing air ambulance is a better choice, since the plane can travel for a longer distance without needing to refuel. Fixed-wing aircraft can also carry more equipment, passengers, and luggage than helicopter air ambulances making the transport more comfortable for everyone involved.

We understand that it can be confusing to know which is the right form of medical transport for you or your loved one. We would to evaluate your loved one's needs and help you understand your options.

To find out more about MedFlight911's worldwide air ambulance services give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.

Air Medical Escorts Can Save the Day

air-medical-escorts-medflight911-air-ambulanceAt MedFlight911, our primary focus is our client's health, comfort, and safety. In addition, we want our patient's families to be comfortable and relaxed during the journey. Whether you are traveling on an air ambulance, medical motor coach or using an air medical escort, our job is to make your life easier! That's why this story we heard recently hit us so hard. One of our employees was speaking to a friend, Mary, about commercial air medical escorts and was surprised to learn Mary had never heard of the service and could have badly used one.

Mary was traveling with her 89-year old father to a family wedding. Her father, Bill, is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease and although he often forgets to shower or brush his teeth and hair, he is still capable of taking care of himself. As a result, Mary tries to give him as much independence as possible, and this autonomy caused her major problems at the airport. Bill needed to use the restroom and Mary didn't want to insult him by insisting on using the Family Restroom. Bill went into the men's restroom while Mary waited outside. Bill got confused in the restroom and exited from a different door, quickly getting lost in the chaos of the airport. Mary and Bill were safely reunited after a panicked 45 minutes and, fortunately, made it safely to their final location.

While this story had a happy ending, events like this don't need to happen. If you or a loved one has a medical condition, flying with a trained professional can help increase your peace of mind and reduce stress. Not only will a MedFlight911 air medical escort help you and your loved one get through security, navigate the confusion of the airport and board the plane, they'll also be with you during the flight itself. Our medical escorts are there with you every step of the way.

Some people hear the words "medical escort" and they think the service is not for them – they're not sick, they just need a helping hand or in Mary's case, another pair of eyes. While many of the people who MedFlight911's escorts help have serious medical conditions, some are regular people who feel a little more comfortable having someone by their side when they're taking a trip. The services we provide run the gamut of needs. Whatever the situation, we're happy to help! Caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease can be extremely difficult. One way to reduce the stress is to get assistance where you can. Air medical escort services are one way to do that.

To read more about our air medical escort services, check out the following blogs:

Interested in learning more about MedFlight911's air medical escort services? Give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.

 

standing-room-only-medflight911-air-ambulanceStanding Room Only

Back in June we wrote a blog: Reclining Seats Cause Air Rage? What Does This Mean for Air Medical Escorts? Well, what kind of air rage do you think would ensue if airplanes had standing room only? Sounds like a nightmare to us!

We recently came across an article about Airbus' patent for a standing only "seats." The seats are basically like bicycle seats with belts . . . OUCH! The argument behind these seats is that, 1) the airlines can accommodate more passengers, hence lowering the cost of air travel, and 2) better lumbar support. We will admit that it certainly would provide better lumbar support and would help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT); however, any trip longer than an hour would be incredibly uncomfortable and would probably turn passengers away from air travel.

Air travel is uncomfortable enough as it is without taking away padding, arm rests, and the slight recline. And from a medical transportation point of view, these "seats" would pose huge problems. When transporting a patient via commercial air, our medical professionals make it their number priority that the patient is safe and comfortable. For someone who is ill these seats would be incredibly uncomfortable for any extended period of time. For someone who has not sat up right in months or has not been out of the hospital wouldn't even be able to fly on one of these aircrafts. In fact, we recently escorted a patient from China to Los Angeles, who would have been physically unable to travel on a commercial airline in these seats.

Anytime we are transporting a patient via commercial air we try our best to get first class seating, but sometimes it isn't an option due to the patients schedule, the airline, and the length of the trip. However, in every circumstance we do everything in our power to ensure that the patient is comfortable and safe while traveling. Hopefully these seat changes will not go through, but if they do, MedFlight911 has got you covered.

For first-class medical transportation, MedFlight911 is the best! Call us at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.

 

4-facts-about-communicable-diseases-medflight911-air-ambulance4 Facts about Communicable Diseases

Last month we talked about being Fit to Fly and Flying With Communicable Diseases. Just after those blogs were published, media coverage about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the possibly of it spreading into the states increased. In case you haven't been following recent news reports, there have been over 3700 confirmed cases of Ebola in 2014, most specifically in the countries of Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Recently, there were three Americans infected with Ebola while performing humanitarian work in West Africa. The three patients were medically transported back to the United States via specialized air ambulance for medical treatment in the first week of August.

Even though all necessary safety measures were taken during the medical transport and the three patients were quarantined in Serious Communicable Disease Units the thought of Ebola entering the US caused panic. These concerns proved to be unfounded as not a single new case of Ebola occurred as a result of their transport. In fact, there has yet to be a case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. and the initial two patients was discharged with a clean bill of health last week.

We wanted to write this blog to offer some more information on Ebola to hopefully decrease concerns. After all, knowledge is power!

What you need to know about Ebola:

1. The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids. It can also be transmitted via contaminated needles or infected fluids, but no airborne transmissions have been documented. The incubation period of Ebola is 2-21 days and there is no risk of transmission during that period.

2. Airlines have been screening passengers leaving West Africa for Ebola before they can board the plane. There are also some airports screening incoming passengers.

Symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.

4. There have been more than 3,600 reported human cases and more than 2,200 deaths since the discovery of Ebola in 1976.  In comparison, approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from the flu each year.

You should avoid:

  • Contact with blood or bodily fluids of a person or corpse infected with the Ebola virus.
  • Contact with or handling of wild animals, alive or dead or their raw or undercooked meat.
  • Having sexual intercourse with a sick person or a person recovering from EVD for at least 7 weeks.
  • Having contact with any object, such as needles, that has been contaminated with blood or bodily fluids.

If you have been exposed to any of the previous or you have traveled to the affected areas and are experiencing symptoms, you should contact your health care professional immediately. While 'Ebola' and 'outbreak' are two words you never want to hear in the same sentence, the CDC, the WHO and other organizations are working diligently to stop the spread in and out-of West Africa. Just yesterday, the Gates Foundation pledged $50 million towards the fight on Ebola outbreak. And, while there have been multiple reports of suspected cases in the U.S. since the recent outbreak, Ebola has never been diagnosed on U.S. soil.

No matter where or when you are traveling, make sure you take precautions to stay healthy: wash your hands regularly, avoid contact with people who are visibly ill, take your vitamins, and stay hydrated!

For more travel safety tips or if you are in need of medical transport, visit our website or give us a call at 888-359-1911. You can also get your a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.

 

 

MedFlight911 Assists a Family in Need

assisting-a-family-in-need-medflight911-air-ambulanceHere at MedFlight911, we see a lot of very sad situations. Some of the saddest are those situations where children are involved. All of our staff is trained to provide the utmost care to all of our patients, but when children are involved it is very beneficial to have other professionals on our team that are trained to help children through traumatic situations. In one of our recent transfers, we worked with a wonderful pediatric social worker who not only helped the children and the family, but was a great help to us as well.

The family was on vacation with multiple children when their mother was injured in an accident and declared brain dead. The children were very traumatized by the accident and their mother's future prospects so Jennifer Clark, a pediatric social worker, was asked to be involved in their situation. The mother and the family needed transport to a hospice facility near their home and Jennifer helped them arrange it. She was familiar with air ambulance transport from a previous job working with child burn victims. Jennifer contacted Grace on Wings, a charity air ambulance company, and they referred her to MedFlight911.

Originally, the family wanted an air ambulance, but the quotes were too expensive for them. MedFlight911 discussed the option of a medical motor coach, which was substantially less, so they decided to go that route instead. We were able to arrange for transport for the next day.

Typically, MedFlight911 has all of the necessary equipment for a medical transport; however, in this case, the patient needed a special medication pump. "They borrowed the pump from the hospital and returned it the very next day," Jennifer Clark said. "I was so surprised and impressed!"

Once the transport was complete and the family made it safely to their destination, we called Jennifer to ask her about her experience in working with MedFlight911: "Dee [McCluskey] was absolutely fantastic. He was so easy to work with and gave great information and follow-ups. My favorite thing about him was that he called with updates from the road. He called twice at different points to let me know where they were and then he called when they reached their final destination to let me know where they were home. Working with MedFlight911 was truly a wonderful experience."

One of our top priorities as a medical transportation company is to provide the highest quality medical services with utmost care and compassion for everyone involved. It is always wonderful to work with someone who shares the same goals. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jennifer Clark in this saddening situation.

MedFlight911 is so passionate about providing the best care, especially is difficult situations. Call us at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation medical transport quote here.

 

MedFlight911 Goes Above and Beyond

medical-motor-coachMedFlight911 conducts many different types of medical transportation – air ambulance, medical escorts, and motor coach transportation, to name a few. Each transport and each patient is very unique and is treated as such.

One of our most recent medical transports was for a husband and wife from Mesa, Arizona to Minnesota. The couple is in their 80's; the wife has Alzheimer's and the husband is very frail. The two are snowbirds and were staying in an assisted living facility during their vacation in Arizona.

Earlier this year their daughter and their neighbor tried to arrange for transport for the couple because it was unsafe for them to drive the long distance home to Minnesota. They had no idea that something like MedFlight911 even existed until they did an online search, yet it was "exactly what they needed."

There were several starts and stops in scheduling the trip. It was very difficult for their family and friends to find an assisted living facility in Minnesota that could provide space and care for both of the clients at the same time. We worked with the family and friends closely and we got their medical transport scheduled last month.

With the help of their family, MedFlight911 set up transport for the couple via motor coach. During the planning stages, we realized that the couple has more possessions than would fit in the underbelly of the coach, so MedFlight911 arranged for a U-Haul and delivered it to the client's house the night before the transfer. "It just goes to show how much MedFlight911 cares and how far they will go to make their clients happy," theirneighbor said. "They even helped load a few things in the morning!" Once the U-Haul was loaded, it was time to begin traveling.

A normal road trip from Arizona to Minnesota is about a 27-hour drive, but because all passengers must be seated while the vehicle is in motion, the driver must pull over and come to a complete stop when anyone needs to use the restroom. We try to coordinate bathroom breaks with fuel stops, but even with careful scheduling, this can add hours to any given trip. Due to bladder issues, this trip took about an additional six hours, which is a long time for patients. Our goal in these kinds of situations is to make the transport less stressful. The husband sat in the captain's seat and navigated for the driver. His wife had several episodes of confusion and was calmed down by the nurse. The nurses on board were focused on keeping the couple calm, relaxed, and pre-occupied, and the driver was focused on transporting the couple safely to their destination.

The couple arrived at their destination and were very grateful for the helpful staff that got them their. Their neighbor said, "I only have good things to say about MedFlight911. I was impressed with the company and the logistics of what they organized. It was exactly what we needed at the time." No matter what the situation, our staff is highly trained in caring for each patient and we take utmost care to ensure that their transport is as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Want to know more about MedFlight911's motor coach medical transport services? Give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.

 

When Are You Safe to Fly with MedFlight911?

fit-to-fly-with-MedFlight911Several months ago, we wrote a blog on what fit to fly means and how doctors determine if a patient is or is not fit to fly with MedFlight911. We transport a lot of patients who are seriously ill or injured and sometimes, the doctor may deem them unfit to fly until a certain point. But what do commercial fliers need to know about flying with illness? Last week, we discussed the precautions that travelers with flying with communicable diseases need to take. Did you know that there are other illnesses that can restrict your travel? Read on to find out more!

The Air Carrier Access Act or 1986 has enabled more and more people with disabilities or illnesses to travel via commercial air. However, it is the person's responsibility to contact their practitioner for guidance on safety during air travel. For example, people with respiratory, cardiac, or postsurgical conditions or those with diabetes or ear conditions, require unique attention, tests, and/or instructions from their practitioner to make flying safer. In some of those cases a practitioner may deem the patient unfit to fly, but in many cases it's perfectly safe with the right equipment and practices (i.e., oxygen, staying hydrated, walking around the plane, and so on). Part of flying safely is knowing when you should postpone air travel.

When should you postpone your trip?

Of course, the most obvious reason to postpone your trip is if your doctor advises you to do so. But there are other times when you should postpone air travel, including:

  • Seven days following a colonoscopy
  • Within 72 hours after scuba diving to avoid decompression sickness
  • If you are 34+ weeks pregnant or if you have a complicated pregnancy
  • Within three weeks of uncomplicated myocardial infarction
  • Passengers with recent abdominal, central nervous system, ear or thoracic surgery

If you are unsure whether or not you should be flying with your condition, it is important to talk to your medical care provider. Your doctor may want you to use oxygen during your flight, walk around the plane, take certain medications, or bring other medical equipment on board with you. Keep in mind, even on short, commercial flights, medical care and equipment aren't readily available.

When do you need an air medical escort?

Often times a physician will not diagnosis a patient as "fit to fly" unless they will be cared for by another medical professional. If a patient is unable to perform tasks associated with air travel and needs medical assistance or surveillance, you will want to consider getting an air medical escort. An air medical escort will escort the passenger from their home (or wherever they wish to be picked up) to his or her destination while providing constant medical attention to the patient. The escort helps the passenger with their luggage and medical supplies and helps them get through the airport. The escort ensures that the patient boards and exits the plane safely and that the patient is safe and comfortable during the entire trip. Many times, if a family member cannot travel with the patient or the patient needs extra medical attention, the patient or their family will hire an escort to transport the patient.

Most importantly, an air medical escort is a trained aviation expert who can navigate the complexities of both airline travel and a patient's medical condition ensuring both the patient's comfort and their safety while traveling.  If you have any medical conditions that might make air travel dangerous, please consult your health care professional before your trip.

 

MedFlight911 is passionate about getting our patients safely to their destinations and if you ever find yourself in need of an air medical escort, give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air ambulance quote here.

 

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