Decompression Illness & Medical Transport
At 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.