Air Medical Transport: The Commercial Air Medical Escort Process Explained
At MedFlight911, air ambulance transports are one of our specialties. But not every patient needs an air ambulance; sometimes they just need a helping hand (with medical expertise) to get them to where they need to be. That's what we offer with our commercial air medical escort service.
Anyone who has flown on a commercial airline in the past few years knows how stressful this form of travel can be. Now, just imagine trying to navigate the whole process – from checking luggage to security screening to boarding and deplaning – if you have a medical condition. It probably sounds pretty overwhelming, and it often is. For patients who are medically stable but need assistance while traveling, an air medical escort could be the answer. Here's how the process works.
Step 1: Escort arrives at the departing facility. MedFlight911's air medical escort meets the patient at her bedside. The escort, typically a nurse or paramedic, spends some time getting to know the patient and assessing her condition. The escort will also talk to the patient's nurse or doctor and answer and questions the patient or her family may have. Then, the escort and the patient (as well as any accompanying passengers) depart for the airport.
(Alternatively, the patient and any accompanying passengers may meet the medical escort at the airport.)
Step 2: Arrival at the departure airport. Once the escort and patient (as well as any accompanying passengers) arrive at the airport, any luggage will be gathered and the patient will be transferred to an airport wheelchair. A wheelchair attendant will accompany the entire party to the TSA screening checkpoint.
Step 3: Security screening. At the security checkpoint, the patient, escort, and any accompanying passengers will proceed through a much smoother and quicker process than the standard security screening. Passengers will be scanned with a handheld device and luggage will be X-rayed. Standard TSA restrictions apply as far as carry-on luggage, but the escort will have documentation allowing the patient to carry on any necessary medications or medical supplies.
Step 4: Boarding. Next, we proceed to the boarding gate. Passengers who need assistance are typically allowed to board first. We'll also be flying first class, so transferring the patient to the plane is a smooth process. The escort will see to it that that the patient is comfortably settled into his or her seat and ready to depart.
Step 5: In flight. Once the flight departs, the escort is completely focused on the patient's care and well-being. The escort will monitor the patient for any changes during flight and address any problems that may arise. The medical escort will also help the patient with meals and personal hygiene routines as necessary.
Step 6: Arrival at destination airport. Upon arrival, we'll wait until all the other passengers deplane. Then the escort will transfer the patient to a wheelchair and assist him or her down the jetway.
Step 7: Arrival at final destination. The patient and escort will be met at the baggage claim by a ground transportation crew, who will take them to their final destination.
For non-emergency medical transport, commercial air medical escort might be a good option. To find out more about our commercial medical escort services, give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation commercial air medical transport quote here. And, stay tuned in coming weeks for some great air medical escort stories.