Non-Emergency Medical Transport: Answers to Your Questions About Commercial Medical Escort
We frequently get calls from patients who have a medical condition that is serious but not critical enough to require an air ambulance. For these patients, MedFlight911 offers commercial air medical escort services. If the patient is in stable medical condition, we can provide a medically-trained escort (typically a paramedic or nurse) to travel with the patient from his or her current location (such as a hospital or nursing home) to their ultimate destination. The escort helps with everything from security screening and boarding to using the restroom and of course monitoring the patient's medical condition and providing basic medical treatments (oxygen and medications, for example).
Since most people aren't familiar with commercial air medical escort services, I've taken the time to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions below. Of course I welcome you to give me a call at 888-359-1911 so I can answer your specific questions directly.
Who might need a commercial medical escort? MedFlight911's commercial air medical transport escort services are for non-emergency situations only. Patients who are medically stable but need medical assistance while traveling are good candidates for this service.
Will the patient fly on a regular airplane or an air ambulance? MedFlight911's medical escorts accompany patients on standard commercial flights. (This is in contrast to our private air ambulance services, which are for a wide range of patients who cannot be transported by any other method, often because of an urgent need for medical care.) The patient and escort will fly first class, but there will be other passengers on the plane.
What happens when you get to the airport? Depending on the situation, the medical escort may travel with the patient to the airport, or he may meet the patient at the airport. In either case, once the patient is at the airport, the escort will gather all luggage and see that the patient is transferred to a wheelchair. If necessary, the escort may use a skycap to help with the luggage. The escort will also request a wheelchair attendant to expedite the patient through the TSA security process.
What about security screening? Because the patient will be traveling on a commercial flight, they’ll need to pass through a TSA security checkpoint. The medical escort will be there to assist with this process, to ensure that the patient doesn't have to wait any longer than necessary. The patient will be screened with handheld scanner. Restrictions on items that can be carried through security will apply, though the escort will have documentation allowing her to carry any necessary medications and/or medical devices.
How does boarding and deplaning work? Once the patient and escort have passed through security, they'll proceed to the gate. The patient and medical escort are generally allowed to board the plane first, which makes it easier to transfer the patient to his or her seat with a minimum of disruption. When the plane arrives at its final destination, the patient and escort will wait until all other passengers have deplaned and then exit the aircraft.
What happens in-flight? The MedFlight911 air medical transport escort stays close to the patient throughout the flight. She'll see to the patient's needs, administer medications, and manage any other situations that arise during travel.
Can family members or loved ones travel with the patient? Yes. We understand that traveling can be stressful, especially for those with a medical condition, and we make every effort to accommodate family members or friends who may want to accompany the patient.
For non-emergency medical transport, commercial air medical escort might be a good option. You can find out more about our commercial medical escort services in our earlier blog posts, give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation transport quote here.