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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

What Happens If An Air Ambulance Flight Is Cancelled?

Last week, we talked about the reasons why MedFlight911 (and every other air ambulance provider) requires pre-payment for long distance medical transport. Basically, it boils down to us being able to run our business effectively while also offering efficient service to our patients and their families.

Of course, if you’ve paid in advance for a service (including air medical transport), you probably have concerns about what happens if that service can't be delivered as scheduled. In the case of an advanced air ambulance, our customers tend to have one big question: What happens if my flight is cancelled, or if I need to cancel a transport?

First, I want to stress that MedFlight911 has never had to cancel an air ambulance flight because of a problem on our end. But if something did happen and we were unable to complete a scheduled transport because of an issue within our control, we’d do everything we could to get the patient to his or her ultimate destination as quickly as possible.

There are sometimes issues outside of our control – such as weather, natural disaster, or other similar event, or aircraft repair – that could lead to delays. Once, for example, during a routine pre-flight maintenance check, the pilots found a light bulb on the airplane that had burned out. It was a Sunday, and finding an authorized mechanic to come repair the bulb was a challenge, but we did it and the plane took off a short time later.

In other words, when something happens that causes a delay, we do everything in our power to ensure that delay doesn’t become significant. Because of our decades of experience and longstanding relationships within the medical air transport industry, we are very good at overcoming obstacles – at doing what it takes to ensure that we get our patients where they need to go, safely, with as little delay as possible.

Since the safety of our patients is our primary concern, we always make the decision that is in the best interest of the patient’s safety. From the moment you call us to the moment that the patient is safely at his or her final destination, we maintain a 360-degree view of the entire transport to ensure that if an obstacle does arise (that burned-out light bulb or difficulty getting into a foreign country, poor road conditions or an airport closure, for example) we are able to deal with it smoothly and effectively. Often, neither the family nor the patient ever even knows that there was an issue we had to overcome.

Because we're dealing with situations where people may be suffering from severe medical conditions, there's always the possibility that the patient could pass away before their scheduled journey, or become too ill to fly. If something does happen that requires an advanced air ambulance transport to be cancelled, we ask that the family let us know as soon as possible; we’ll do everything we can to work with the family.

Finally, as anyone who has flown on a commercial airline knows, flights are sometimes cancelled, and this could happen if you’ve scheduled an air medical escort with us. While there’s nothing we can do to stop an airline from canceling a scheduled flight, our experienced medical escorts work with the airline staff to get the patient and the escort onto another plane. We handle all the details, which makes the process less stressful for the patient.

No one is happy – least of all us – when faced with the possibility of a cancelled flight. However, with our years of experience in the air ambulance industry, we’re typically able to quickly resolve any problems that arise. That’s the kind of service that our patients and their loved ones can count on receiving when they decide to work with us.

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

From Brazil to the United States: Managing the Logistics of a Worldwide Air Ambulance Flight

When it comes to an international long distance air ambulance transport, few people realize how complicated such a trip can be. Take a transport from Brazil to the United States that the MedFlight911 team recently completed. We saw firsthand the difficulty that can arise from differences between how the U.S. and Brazil regulate private aircraft.

First, some information about the transport: I had received a call from a Florida man who needed to arrange a medical transport for his elderly father. His dad was a Brazilian national who had fallen and broken his neck, paralyzing him from the neck down. At the time, the father was living in a small city north of Rio de Janeiro. Our job would be to transport him to the U.S., where he could be close to his family so they could oversee his medical care.

The journey from the U.S. to Brazil was 10 hours each way, including a stop in Puerto Rico. Instead of flying into one of the Brazil’s major cities, like Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo, we'd be landing in a small town whose only airport was actually a military installation. The facility was so small that fuel for our plane had to be trucked in from offsite. To further complicate matters, flying a private plane into Brazil can sometimes present challenges because of the way flights are regulated. As a result, we experienced some difficulty when we first landed there.

The Brazilian officials requested various documents and had some questions about whether or not the paperwork showing that our aircraft was safe to fly was current. Of course, everything was up to date (we'd never fly a plane that wasn't airworthy), but we still had to get a letter from an FAA office in Washington before we were allowed to proceed. Fortunately, it only took an hour to get the required documentation and get on our way.

In most cases, that hour wouldn't be a significant delay, but it matters a lot when you're dealing with an elderly man in very poor health. As we waited to get the all-clear from the Brazilian officials, the patient started to suffer from breathing difficulties. Ultimately, the crew had to contact his family and get the OK to insert a breathing tube while in flight. Fortunately, the MedFlight911 advanced air ambulance team was able to complete the procedure without any problems and get the patient safely to the receiving facility in Florida.

Worldwide air ambulance flights aren't always predictable, but our experienced team of pilots and medical professionals is always able to find a solution to any problems they encounter. That was certainly the case for this transport. Fortunately, everything came together and we got the patient to where he needed to be – which is always our highest priority!

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

 

Why Do I Have to Pay for an Advanced Air Ambulance Upfront?

When we’re working with a family to arrange long-distance medical transport, they sometimes ask us: “Why do I have to pay for my air ambulance upfront?” After all, many other types of businesses accept payment after the service is performed, so what makes an air ambulance different?

The short answer is that an air ambulance just isn't like most other services. While requiring payment upfront may occasionally present some challenges for the family, we have good reasons for doing so.

Medical transport is costly, whether it involves an advanced air ambulance, ground medical transport, or an air medical escort. Arranging a transport is an expensive, time- and labor-intensive process. If a trip is cancelled at the last minute and we haven't received payment in advance, we have to absorb those costs – and pass them on to our other customers. In order to run our business efficiently and make sure we're able to offer the services that patients need, we need to get payment upfront.

There are several ways you can pay for your MedFlight911 air ambulance:

  • Cash or wire transfer (we offer a small discount if customers choose this option)
  • Credit card
  • Insurance (in this case, we get a letter from the insurance company guaranteeing payment)
  • Combination (usually, the family pays for part of the flight and the insurance company pays the other part)
  • Discharge facility (such as the hospital) covers the cost

We – and most other air ambulance providers – don't offer loans or other forms of deferred payment. In addition, if a customer does need to cancel an air ambulance trip or ground transport, they'll be responsible for any resulting expenses. If someone needs to cancel a medical escort trip, we'll work with airlines, hotels, and others to get a refund, though this isn't always possible.

What if it's not the customer but MedFlight911 who has to cancel an air ambulance trip? Fortunately, we've never had that happen. However, if we did have to call off a transport because of a problem on our end, we'd fully reimburse the customer.

We know that arranging payment for an air ambulance can be difficult, especially if you have the additional stress of caring for a sick or injured loved one. That's why we’re here to help you find a payment solution that works for everyone involved – the family, the patient, and us. If you're in need of air medical transport and have any questions about paying for services, please feel free to give us a call. We're always happy to answer your questions!

Stay tuned for next week's blog post, where we'll explain what happens when an air ambulance flight is cancelled.

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

 

Practice Water Safety 101 and Avoid the Need for Long-Distance Medical Transport

During a long, hot summer, there's nothing more enjoyable than spending an afternoon at the pool or the beach. But at MedFlight911 air ambulance, we sometimes see the dark side of that summer fun – serious injuries that often require intensive rehabilitation and care. Far too often, the patients we see who have water-related injuries are children, though adults can become victims as well.

You can reduce the risk of boating and swimming accidents and, in turn, minimize the chances that you'll need long-distance medical transport by brushing up on some basic water safety tips:

  1. Swim near a lifeguard. When you're at the beach, stay close to the lifeguard, so that if you do get in trouble, he or she will be able to see you and help.
  1. Stick together. Use the buddy system, especially when swimming in the ocean or at the lake. Don't leave children alone in or near the water, even for just a few minutes, since drowning can happen quickly.
  1. Stay sober. Drinking is the cause, either directly or indirectly, of many water-related accidents, including drowning and boating accidents. If you're taking the boat out, be sure to choose a designated driver. Don't swim if you've been drinking.
  1. Know your limits. Make sure you're aware of your limits when swimming. Don't take chances, and teach children not to over-estimate their own strength or skill.
  1. Take swimming lessons. Anyone who is spending time in or near the water should know how to swim. Even young children should take swimming lessons, and adults may also benefit from a class, especially if they're not strong swimmers. In addition, learning basic CPR and rescue skills could be a lifesaver – literally.
  1. Be cautious when diving. A diving accident can lead to a life-long disability. Before diving, check the depth the pool, lake, or other body of water. Never dive into an unknown body of water, since you could hit an unseen obstruction and injure your head or neck.
  1. Know what to do if you get caught in a rip current. Rip currents, or rip tides, are strong, narrow currents of water. A rip current can be difficult to get out of once you are caught in one – it will feel like you're being pulled further away from shore. To escape from a rip current, swim parallel to the shore, which will eventually lead you out of the current.

From everyone at MedFlight911 air ambulance, we hope you enjoy these last weeks of summer, and that you and your loved ones stay safe!

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

Hola from Cabo: A Report on the MedFlight911 Air Ambulance Board Meeting

Every year, the MedFlight911 Air Ambulance board of directors gets together to discuss the events of the past year and the future direction of the company. This past June, we gathered in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for several days of work, as well as a little bit of fun.

We arrived in Cabo San Lucas – which is located at the very southern tip of the Baja California peninsula – just two weeks before the G20 summit, which was held there on June 18 and 19. Everyone in this city of 70,000 residents was obviously very busy preparing for the summit, including a massive beautification project. It's not surprising that the preparations were so intense, considering that the G20 brought international leaders from 20 different countries, including the U.S., Germany, Japan, and Brazil, to Mexico. You could really tell the entire city was getting a full makeover.

It was also fascinating to see how much of the city's economy revolved around tourism. Everyone in the city was so welcoming, and they were really focused on trying to ensure that you had a great experience while there. While we spent a lot of our time on work-related business, we also got to take advantage of Cabo's exciting culture and nightlife. Our families even got to come along, so it really was an enjoyable combination of work and play. Overall, it was a great place to experience as a team, and we all were thrilled with the different things the city had to offer.

Of course, the MedFlight911 air ambulance team didn't spend the entire trip snorkeling and relaxing on the beach. We also took the time to talk about what the future holds for MedFlight911 and what we can expect over the next 12 months. As always, our focus was on the patients who we serve and their families, and how we can improve the advanced air ambulance services that we are so proud to provide.

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

A Tragedy in the Skies: Could an Air Medical Escort Have Helped?

tragedy-in-the-skies-medflight911-air-ambulanceRecently, I read a sad story in the local Phoenix news: a woman traveling from Detroit to Phoenix became unresponsive while in flight. Though the plane made an emergency landing in Denver to get the woman medical assistance, she later passed away. What exactly happened isn't yet clear (not publicly, anyway), but the incident does draw attention to a possibility that most people don't want to think about – what happens if you have a medical emergency in flight?

First, it's important to understand that there are different types of in-flight emergencies. In some cases, there's an accident or unexpected event on board. For example, a passenger chokes on a piece of food and dies. This is the kind of tragic event that can't be predicted. But there are also cases where the passenger is sick already but must travel (often for medical reasons). The airline should be aware of these passengers and their medical issues, and hopefully the passengers travel with an air medical escort to help see to their needs. Finally, there are people who are sick but have decided to fly anyway on their own, often against the advice of their doctor – or without checking with a doctor at all. These people may underestimate the risks of air travel or believe that they're healthy enough to fly when they really aren't.

The final category of passengers is most troubling, because if these people experience a medical emergency while in flight, there's a chance it could have been avoided with proper precautions. In some cases, it may be that the patient should have refrained from traveling. In cases where traveling couldn't be avoided, the person might have benefited from either traveling via an advanced air ambulance or flying with a medical escort who was familiar with their condition and who could assist them while in transit.

For people who are sick or injured and choose to fly commercially without an air medical escort, it’s important to understand what might happen on the plane if the person has a medical emergency. The airline crew will ask if there is anyone on the plane with medical experience (the flight attendants are not medically trained). Most airlines are contracted with a company called MedAire, which has phone operators who can give basic care instructions to the flight crew and/or the medical professional who has volunteered to help (not all professionals will volunteer, for fear of medical liability).

With the help of MedAire, the flight crew and/or volunteer will identify the patient’s needs and obtain the first aid items on the aircraft (which are small and limited) that could be helpful. Then the pilots, in consultation with the flight crew and/or volunteer and MedAire will decide whether to return to the departure airport (if they’ve just left) or continue on to the final destination , or divert the plane to a closer airport. It’s critically important to understand that the decision here is at the sole discretion of the pilots. Whatever decision the pilots make, the flight crew and MedAire will work together to get the appropriate medical resources to meet the plane once it lands and take over the care of the patient.

In other words, without a hired professional air medical escort, the patient has no one on the plane to rely on if an illness or injury becomes a medical emergency. On a commercial airline without help, medical resources are literally cobbled together.

Hiring an air medical escort, in contrast, ensures that the patient has both the medical professional and the equipment necessary to deal with any issues that may arise during the flight. It’s still up to the pilots to determine whether to divert the plane or not, but at least the on-board resources are prepared to take care of the patient (and with an air ambulance service like MedFlight911, we wouldn’t recommend traveling commercially with an air medical escort if the patient is not likely to make the flight safely; then we would recommend an air ambulance).

At MedFlight911, our experienced medical escorts help patients navigate airport procedures and deal with complicated airline regulations for passengers with medical needs, but they are also able to provide care for the patient while in flight, potentially averting a tragedy if the patient does experience a medical emergency. If you or a family member is sick and needs to travel, an air medical escort can help provide comfort and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

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

How to Cope When Your Loved One Needs an Advanced Air Ambulance

As an advanced air ambulance provider, we meet people at some of their most vulnerable moments. When someone is dealing with a family member who is sick and needs long distance medical transport, their emotions are running the gamut; people are often confused, frustrated, tired, and frightened – even angry. It's a lot to handle.

Our staff is here to help you make the process of arranging air medical transport for your loved one as stress-free as possible. This can be a scary time, and while the health and safety of your loved one is likely your primary concern, you shouldn't forget about your own needs. The following tips can help you cope if you're dealing with a loved one who needs an advanced air ambulance (or in any other medical crisis).

Don't be afraid to ask questions. You're going to be on the receiving end of a lot of information – from doctors, from insurance companies, and from the staff at your advanced air ambulance provider. Don't be surprised if it's hard to take everything in or if you find some details confusing. Instead of staying silent, ask for clarification or further details. At MedFlight911, we're always happy to answer your questions. If there's something you don't understand, ask us!

Don't ignore your own health. It's easy to neglect your own health when dealing with someone else's medical crisis. While your regular routine has likely been disrupted, it's still important to try to eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise. This will help you keep you stay healthy, so that you're able to do the most for your loved one.

Take a moment for yourself. You want to do everything in your power to help your loved one. But when dealing with a health crisis, it's easy for caregivers and family members to get burned out. In addition to your physical health, don't neglect your mental health. Take at least a few minutes every day for yourself. Meditate, take a walk, or simply go outside and get some fresh air – whatever makes you feel refreshed and reenergized.

Ask for support. As tempting as it is, don't try to do everything on your own. Reach out to family and friends. Chances are that they want to help, even if it's just to lend an ear. If available, consider taking advantage of support groups or support services offered by hospitals. These resources can help you navigate a frightening, stressful experience.

Remember, before caring for your loved one, you need to care for yourself. At MedFlight911, we're here to help you do that by making the long distance medical transport process as seamless and stress-free as possible, so that you can get the help you need to help your loved one.

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

 

Does My Loved One Really Need an Advanced Air Ambulance?

No one wants to hear that their loved one needs an advanced air ambulance. While the team here at MedFlight911 does everything in our power to make the air ambulance experience as smooth as possible, we realize that many people aren't exactly excited to be working with us – this is a very difficult time for patients and their family members. They've found themselves in a medical situation that necessitates long distance medical transport – which can be stressful, even when things go as planned.

So it's not surprising that families may wonder if they really need an advanced air ambulance. Isn't there an easier way? While each individual situation is different, here are a few questions to ask yourself to help determine whether your loved one really needs air medical transport.

Does the patient need medical care that's only available at a far-away hospital? Sometimes, patients with more complicated medical conditions need to be transported to a facility where they can get the special treatment they need. For example, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) patient or a person with severe burns may need to get care at a specialized hospital.

Would it better for the patient to recover closer to family and other loved ones? If your father, mother, or other elderly loved one lives far away but develops a need for ongoing medical attention, it may make sense to transport them via air ambulance to a facility (such as a nursing home) that's closer to you or other family members.

Is the patient currently in another country or a location distant from their home? It's not unusual for people to fall ill or become injured while traveling abroad or in a place far away from home. In these cases, it may make sense for the patient to be transported to a hospital closer to their home, where they can recover in the environment and with the people they’re used to.

What is the patient's medical condition? Air ambulance transport is a good option for patients who have a serious medical condition that requires ongoing monitoring and care. However, patients who are mobile and in relatively good health may be better served by MedFlight911's air medical escort service, which involves a nurse or paramedic accompanying the patient on a commercial airline flight.

At MedFlight911, we offer a variety of long distance medical transport options to meet the different needs of patients. Some are best served by our air ambulance services, while our non-emergency ground transportation is a good fit for many stable patients. And commercial air medical escort can be the best option for those who just need a helping hand.

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

Bermuda May Lose Advanced Air Ambulance Service: What Does That Mean for Patients?

I recently read a news story explaining how Bermuda may be in danger of losing its only on-island advanced air ambulance provider. The owners of the company, Bermuda Medivac, simply can't afford to operate the service, and unless they find a buyer, the air ambulance may stop operating completely.

It's always unfortunate to hear of an advanced air ambulance company that's struggling, since that means that there could be fewer options available to serve patients. Fortunately, even if Bermuda Medivac ceases operations, patients in Bermuda won't be without options for long distance medical transport. Air ambulance providers like MedFlight911 based in the U.S. and elsewhere will still be able to transport patients to and from the country to get the care they need.

The news of one international air ambulance company's struggles also reminds me how important it is to think about what you would do if you did need air medical transport while traveling abroad. If you're visiting another country, you can't just assume that there will be adequate medical services to treat you if you do have a medical situation, or that there will be an easy way for you to get home if there is an emergency. While it's unpleasant to think about, you do need to research what resources are available in the place you'll be visiting, and to make a plan for how you'll manage if you do need medical care while abroad.

In addition to researching standards of care in the country you'll be visiting, another step you can take is making a list of worldwide air ambulance providers before you leave. If you have an idea of who you'll call if there is an emergency, it will make dealing with a crisis that much easier. You should also review your insurance coverage to find out if air ambulance service is covered, or if you'll need to purchase supplemental coverage. (If you are interested in supplemental coverage, we recommend Medjet Assist.)

At MedFlight911 Air Ambulance, we're committed to providing long distance medical transport services to patients in need, wherever they are. Our team has extensive experience in dealing with international air ambulance transports, and we're wiling to do whatever it takes to get patients home safe so they can access the care they need.

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

 

The Importance of Communication in Long Distance Air Medical Transport

At MedFlight911 Air Ambulance, we're firm believers in the importance of communication when it comes to long distance medical transport. Whether we're talking to case managers, patients, family members, or other medical personnel, it's critical that the lines of communication are clear and open so that the patient gets the care they need. So I found myself nodding my head as I read a recent article on the JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services) website entitled “Effective Communication Between Providers and Physicians Improves Patient Hand-Offs.”

The article specifically dealt with the handoff of patients from pre-hospital providers (such as paramedics) to emergency room doctors, critical care physicians, or trauma surgeons. A successful transfer is one of the most important elements in successfully caring for these patients, who often have serious illness or injuries. Effective communication is a key component of ensuring that the transfer is successful, while miscommunication can result in mistakes and reduced patient safety.

At MedFlight911, we don't handle emergency situations like rescuing a victim from the scene of a car crash. But that doesn't make communication any less important to what we do. When we pick up a patient at a departing facility, it's vital that we get all the information that we need to care for the patient while in transit. And when we drop the patient off at the receiving facility, we take the time to communicate any important information about his or her condition to medical staff there.

Being proactive about communication is important, since as soon as the patient is transferred to us, we're responsible for their health and safety. At MedFlight911, we're in contact with the relevant professionals at the patient's departing facility from the moment that we start organizing an advanced air ambulance transport, compiling a list of the patient's medications, clinical notes, history and physical, and other relevant details. That means we fully understand the situation we're dealing with and the patient's specific needs, so that we can make sure we can provide proper care. Our team uses the information we gather during those conversations to make decisions about the medical crew we'll use and the equipment we'll have on board the plane.

This extra attention to communication takes a little more time and effort on our part. But we believe it's a key step in providing top-notch care for our patients. By taking the time to communicate with the patient's doctors and other medical personnel, we are better able to use our resources to care for the patients we transport.

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

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Testimonials

  • A. R. Brussels

    At this level, one firm among those mentioned above, was offering noticeably a best quote: Medflight911.
  • H. W. GA

    MedFlight911's service was Excellent! I would highly recommend MedFlight911 to anyone. The planning was seamless.
  • Katlin E. OR | Patient

    MedFlight911, I wanted to thank all of you for helping me and my twin boys with our medical transports. Although the trip felt like it was just minutes in length,
  • L. C. TX

    Just a note to say thanks for all that you did for our family this past week. MedFlight911 went way over board in helping with JT's transport.
  • F. Z. CA

    We appreciated MedFlight911's professional service from beginning to end. You delivered a high-quality, smooth and friendly service not only to my father but also to our whole family.
  • J. S. CA

    Dear WONDERFUL folks, First of all our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the professional and compassionate way in which you have embraced our inquiries into your services. Thank you for all
  • R. N. Venezula

    One more time I would really like to thank you and your crew for all the help getting my father to Houston.
  • S. L. CA

    Thank you for your hard work and tireless effort in getting my father back to CA. I truly appreciated MedFlight911's capabilities in getting him safely back to his home.
  • J. T. KY

    MedFlight911 is fantastic! There is a genuine interest in the customer and the family. Communication was informative.
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