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Air Ambulance Company Publishes Travel App

air-ambulanceTravel Care Air is excited to announce the launch of our mobile app, now available for free for all Android users. The app, designed to help frequent travelers, will also be available for Apple products later this summer.

The app has three main components that will be useful for travelers. The app includes the ability to track GPS locations, travel alerts from the US Department of State and up to date airport delay information.

“We’re excited to provide useful information for travelers in our new app,” Travel Care Owner Ron Schaberg said. “We know, based on the calls we get from travelers who need an air ambulance that the information available in our app will be extremely useful in one way or another. We wanted to provide something simple and something that people can find value in during their travels.”

The GPS tracker is especially important for travelers who are visiting remote areas. GPS can be used in situations where a hiker becomes injured or if someone is lost in a foreign country. Data or internet connections are required for GPS, however the app should still function if roaming.

Another useful tool is the up to date information on any airport in the United States. With an airport code a user can find out if there are any delays at the airport, the average length of delay, and what the weather is like. With this app, travelers can plan ahead of time and know what to expect before leaving on a long flight, reducing the risk of missing a flight.

The app also provides the most up to date travel alerts from the Department of State. Users can have one click access to any health, political or weather issues in every country around the world. Users can also have one click access to the mobile website for Flight Tracker, giving users information on specific flights.

The app also includes easy clicks to reach Travel Care. “If a traveler has an accident or health emergency, this mobile app will provide one click access to our mobile website and phone number to reach our air ambulance services,” Schaberg said. Travel Care’s mobile website also includes additional travel information, like news, weather and booking options for flights and hotels.

Travel Care is one of the few air ambulance companies with its own mobile app. Just one other air ambulance company in the world has a mobile app, with similar features. Travel Care develop this app over several months after studying what our clients needed the most when traveling. The features in the app were created based on stories from people that have been served by Travel Care’s international air ambulance services over the past 18 months.

The app is currently available only in the Google Play store for Android users. The app will be available in the iTunes store later this summer. The app is free to download and works on several thousand devices.

Air Ambulance Cost Transparency

air-ambulanceA recent article in the New York Times raises certain questions about the air ambulance industry. The article notes how helpful an air ambulance can be in the time of crisis while focusing on the costs associated with the service. Unfortunately the article really only focuses on one particular company and uses their examples to blanket the entire air ambulance industry in a negative light.

The article in the New York Times focused mainly on helicopter air ambulance, which have seen a rise in numbers over the last two decades. But that doesn’t stop the reporter from painting some services as the industry standards. Since we started our air ambulance in the early 1980’s we have seen first hand the tremendous growth of the industry.

But as the industry has grown, payments by insurance companies have declined. Most of the reputable air ambulance companies are hoping for additional help from Congress. The Times article points to legislation being discussed that would increase Medicare payments for air ambulance services.

The reality of the air ambulance industry is most companies, including Travel Care, do not operate in the manner discussed in the Times article. When you research an air ambulance company, it can be overwhelming. There are so many options available that the search can seem never-ending. On the opposite side, you may be in an area that may seem like it is only served by one company. Our advice? Take the time if it’s available to research. Use the information in the Times article to learn to ask the right questions.

A reputable air ambulance company will be up front about costs. Get a clear idea on a quote. There are always circumstances that may affect your rate. Ask what may alter the costs beyond the quote. Just like any other health care industry, costs vary greatly depending on your needs, location, health and various circumstances. But a good company will give you a quote you can rely on.

You should also find out if you are talking to a real air ambulance company or a broker or private insurance company. Many of these companies have websites that look and feel like a real air ambulance website, however they are essentially middle-men who tack on additional costs.

Another important step is to ask is about payment options. Is part of the air ambulance costs covered by insurance already? If not what payment plans are available? A good air ambulance company will work to provide the flight at the lowest costs and give you clear plans for repayment. In the case of the people interviewed in the Times article, they were in emergency situations and did not have a lot of say.

In times of crisis it’s important to remain calm and not let anyone push anything on you that you don’t want. You can refuse a service if you don’t think it’s right for you. No one should force an air ambulance on anyone that doesn’t feel like they need it, especially if it makes sense to use ground transport in non-life threatening situations.

Improving Mental & Physical Heath in Children

health-tipsTomorrow is an important day for child health. Tomorrow is both Pediatric Stroke Awareness Day and Childhood Depression Awareness Day. Tomorrow the medical world will help raise awareness about improving a child’s mental and physical health. Millions of children all over the world suffer from physical and mental problems. But strokes and depression aren’t often associated with children. Yet there are facts about both diseases that may surprise you. Luckily there are also solutions to both problems.

Did you know that a child can suffer a stroke in the womb? The risk of a stroke in a child is actually the highest within the first year of its life. It is estimated by health professionals that a prenatal stroke can  happen in about one in every 2800 births. That estimate is conservative, according to several leading experts. Most (60-percent) of the strokes are caught early, however that leaves 40-percent of strokes do not have symptoms until it’s too late. Strokes can cause cerebral palsy, seizures, speech problems, ADD and a host of other long-term issues.

Strokes are a top ten leading cause of death in children right up to adulthood. There are warning signs that parents should watch. A child favoring one hand during play should be tested. You should also look for delays in certain milestones, like rolling, sitting up, crawling and/or walking. A child with an early stroke may also walk on tip toes or be unwilling to put weight on one leg.

Why are these two diseases so important, yet they share the same day? Strokes can cause emotional development problems which can lead to depression. Depression doesn’t just happen in adulthood. One in five children in the United States is diagnosed with some form of a mental health disorder. If untreated these issues can lead to learning problems, trouble at home or in the community, drug abuse and even suicide.

There are several ways to help a child improve his or her self-esteem. Involving your child in sports is a proven way to build confidence. If your child isn’t a fan of athletics try to encourage them in other avenues, like the arts. A child that is active will build more confidence. Play time is especially important to the development of problem solving skills, self control and creativity.

There are also steps parents can take to ensure the proper mental health of a child. Eating right is a great way to help develop a positive mind. You should also make sure your child gets enough rest every night. Sleep depends on a child’s age and is vital to proper mental health development. Be sure to listen to your kids. Know what’s happening in your child’s life will allow you to help them with any problems they are having. You should always give them appropriate guidance and discipline. Be kind, but firm.

And don’t be afraid to seek help early. Get out in front of any problems before they develop into something more serious. Early identification of a mental disorder and early treatment can ensure your child will reach his or her own potential.

Using an International Air Ambulance to Come Home

international-air-ambulanceIf you are traveling to another country there may be hurdles you will have to face if you become sick or have an injury. Depending on how sick you become you may need to research international air ambulance services. Whether sick or injured it can be a scary time. But you can prepare for a disaster before you leave home.

Be sure to research the care in the country you are planning to visit. We’ve talked at great length about getting travel insurance. When you get insurance make sure to ask questions about coverage options for accidents or illness. Make sure that you are covered. If you are traveling to a country with a record of poor health care, ask if international air ambulance coverage is included with you travel insurance. In some cases your health care may already cover you abroad, and you won’t need that type of coverage. Ask lots of questions to your current insurance provider.

In some cases you may be too injured or sick to return home by normal methods. In many cases certain countries may do everything possible to prevent you from returning home. These types of sticky situations can add unnecessary stress on top of trying to get healthy. That is why it is a good idea to research international air ambulance companies before you leave for your trip. Using an international air ambulance service like Travel Care will help give you piece of mind in these especially scary situations. An international air ambulance can get you home safely, but we offer much more than that.

Our international air ambulance services will work with health providers in the hospital you are located to get you out if it is safe to do so. We have years of international air ambulance experience in dealing with hospitals from all the corners of the globe, including those with suspect practices. We will work with the local embassy to ensure you have the paperwork and legal information to come home to receive the care you deserve.

Once you are out of the hospital your care will be in the hands of trained professionals An international air ambulance can be equipped with the necessary tools and medical devices that you need for a safe flight home. We will also staff each flight with the proper medical professionals to ensure you have the most comfortable return home possible.

At Travel Care we have been working with international clients for over 30 years. That international air ambulance experience means you can contact us anytime you are in need and we can help. Injuries and sickness on a trip are rarely planned, but putting your health in the hands of experienced professionals will help you return home safely. For more information about our international air ambulance services and more travel tips please follow us on Pinterest.

Air Ambulance and US Embassy Services

air-ambulanceIf you are traveling to another country one of the most important pieces of information that you can have handy is the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. It is especially important if you are traveling anywhere that the United States has a travel alert or travel warning in place. Knowing where the nearest Embassy or Consulate is located is not only important for safety, it is also necessary for your health. If you become ill in another country, the US Embassy or Consulate can work with an air ambulance company to do everything possible to bring you home.

If you become sick, have an accident or a medical emergency and you want to come back to the United States the first thing that you should do is contact the Embassy or Consulate located in the country. The officials can help start the process by providing you with help locating an air ambulance company to bring you home. You can find addresses and phone numbers for any US Embassy or Consulate online.

An air ambulance company like Travel Care will work with an Embassy or Consulate to help bring someone home when they become ill. Working with the United State officials in a foreign country is a helpful tool during the air ambulance booking process. Typically working with state officials will help speed up the paperwork process. That means you can have an air ambulance ready to go much faster than trying to get all your documents together on your own. If you are sick, the last thing you want to worry about is the administrative aspect to your hospital visit.

An air ambulance company will take care of all the little stresses so that you can worry about getting better and going home as fast as possible. Our air ambulance professionals already have a built in relationship with several United States Embassy and Consulates all over the globe. That means when you trust us with your air ambulance needs, we have the experience and understanding for your situation.

Before you leave you should also let your family know where you will be. If you have an accident it may be up to your family to find an air ambulance to bring you home. That means your family will need to track down international air ambulance providers and talk with the local Embassy or Consulate themselves.

Being prepared for anything is what being a smart traveler is all about. Typically no one thinks they will need an air ambulance until they do. But if you travel you will have all the help you need in an emergency if you have the US Embassy or Consulate information at a moment’s notice. For more information about how our air ambulance can help wherever you are in the world please follow us on Pinterest.

Air Ambulance: Private or Commercial?

air-ambulanceIf you need an air ambulance there are various options available to you. At Travel Care we offer both private and commercial air ambulance services. Which is the right option for you? In some cases you can answer that question yourself based on your personal preferences. In others, your medical condition may require a certain air ambulance over another.

The major difference between a commercial and private air ambulance is, obviously, one offers more privacy than the other. Booking a commercial flight with air ambulance staff and services means your trip will be with the public. A private air ambulance offers a more personal touch. On a private air ambulance every service is catered to your needs. A public air ambulance flight, on the other hand does offer some privacy options (like a privacy curtain) but doesn’t offer the custom service a private mission would.

Another difference between private and commercial is cost. A commercial flight is much more affordable. A commercial air ambulance flight can save thousands over a private trip. At Travel Care we offer commercial air ambulance services through our relationships with several international commercial airlines. Our staff escorts a patient on a commercial flight and provides all the medical services a patient needs for a comfortable flight. Services like oxygen, life-support monitoring, medication and comfort management are all handled on a commercial flight by our staff.

In some cases you can decide which air ambulance is best for you. Doctors may also help you decide. Commercial air ambulance services are used for non-critical patients only. To take a commercial air ambulance there are certain requirements that you have to pass, such as being able to sit up for take off and landings. In some cases the Medical Department must approve a commercial air ambulance flight. If, however, you need more care than a traditional commercial air ambulance can provide, you may need to use a private flight.

If a patient is needing critical care, a private air ambulance can provide safe and reliable transport. A private jet can offer more services than a commercial air ambulance. Our private “bedside to bedside” services mean that, in essence, you don’t miss a beat in the care you need from the hospital you leave to the hospital or home you are transferred to. A private air ambulance allows you and your family to arrange all the medical needs that you need for a flight to your destination.

Whether it’s commercial or private our team is ready to help you with your questions! Travel Care is available any time of the day or night. For more information about all our air ambulance services please like us on Facebook.

Food Safety Tips

food-safetyTuesday is World Health Day and the focus on this year’s day is all about food safety. Food safety sounds like a no-brainer, however in developed, and undeveloped nations it is a deadly problem. The World Health Organization estimates two million deaths each year happen from contaminated food or drinking water.

Over 200 diseases are caused by unsafe food that contains bacteria, parasites or other nasty substances. Plus new threats to food safety are always popping up, from changes in production to environment and new bacterias. The number one way to avoid food illness is to wash your hands before handling any food. You should also wash any counters, surfaces, dishes or cutting boards after each use. You should also wash produce under running water.

Using sponges is a great way to get your food and/or dishes clean. But most people forget to sanitize the cleaning utensil itself. One easy way to keep your sponges sanitized is to damped the sponges and put them in the microwave for up to one minute on high. Even with proper sanitation you should still replace your sponges frequently. Dish towels should also be replaced as often as sponges.

Keeping your family safe when handling and eating meats is also important. If you like to marinate your meats, make sure you do it in a zip-locked bag inside the refrigerator. Don’t use the marinated juices, simply discard them before you prepare your meat. Always thaw your meats inside the refrigerator, never in the sink or on a counter-top. Once food is prepared make sure to refrigerate or freeze and prepared food within two hours to avoid contamination.

Many people like to grow their own fruits and veggies. If your garden is packed every summer make sure to keep any animals away from the garden. Animal fecal waste is one of the leading ways fruits and veggies can become contaminated. Another often forgotten way to keep your garden safe is to clean harvesting equipment regularly. Keep containers off the ground and wash and dry shoves or any other items used in contact with your produce.

When preparing food make sure to cook meats thoroughly. Make sure to bring soups and stews to a boil before simmering to ensure it reaches a safe temperature to kill any bacteria. The WHO has found studies that show food cooked to at least 70 degrees Celsius (158 F) can help ensure it will be safe for consumption.

Tips for Cancer Prevention

ID-100279675Cancer, in all its forms, is one of the most deadly diseases in the world. With so many different varieties, it seems like the disease is unstoppable. But there are ways you can start to live a healthier life to avoid getting cancer. Certain life-style choices have been proven to reduce the cancer risk.

The best way to avoid several different types of cancer is to avoid tobacco all together. Most people think smoking can cause lung cancer, but that’s not the only type of cancer smoking can bring. Smoking can cause at least 15 types of cancer in men and women. Smoking can affect and hurt nearly every organ in the body. Nearly 400,000 Americans die every year from smoking.

Another way to prevent cancer is to watch your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to avoiding cancer. According to reports obesity can cause up to 20-percent of all cancer deaths in any year in the United States. Being overweight is linked to breast cancer is women, as well as other cancers like kidney, colon and esophagus. If you are struggling with weight try to exercise at least three times per week. Regular exercise lowers your risk for cancer even if you don’t see a lot of weight loss because it lowers types of inflammation that can cause cancer.

One way to watch your weight is to watch what you eat. Count calories and know how many you should eat for your ideal height and body type. Try to focus on foods that will also provide you with cancer-fighting nutrients. Greens of any kind are a good example, but so is grains and eating clean foods. The President’s Cancer Panel advises to purchase antibiotic-free meats and purchase foods grown without pesticides. For a tasty beverage, opt for milk that will raise your calcium intake.

Avoiding the sun is another great way to stay cancer-free. Skin cancer is the most common and the most preventable. Use sunscreen if you are outdoors (no matter what season) and try to avoid the peak radiation hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are outdoors, in addition to sunscreen, cover exposed parts of your skin. You should also avoid indoor tanning beds which can damage your skin just as much as the sun.

The final, and most important way to avoid getting cancer is to get checked often. Ask your doctor at what age you should start to get screenings for various forms of cancer. Certain screenings are avoiding because they can be mildly discomforting. But in most cases, early detection is the best way to fight cancer. You can also talk to your doctor about types of medications that can be used to reduce the cancer risk.

10 Ways to Stay Safe When Traveling

travel-tipsIf you are traveling soon there are important ways that you can keep safe. For most people traveling to a new country, city or area can be a rewarding experience. Travel is the best way to learn about different cultures and customs. But the wrong steps can derail your trip. Here are our top 10 ways that you can stay safe when you travel!

10. Research your travel destinations.

Be familiar with the locations that you plan to visit. Learn about the customs and etiquette in the places you visit so you don’t offend anyone. Talk to locals about neighborhoods to avoid. Opt for conservative dress unless you know an area is more tolerant.

9. Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket.

The back pocket is where most thieves look first if they want to steal you money or personal information. Keep your wallet in your front pocket and it will reduce the chance you will be pick-pocketed.

8. Try to avoid night travel.

It’s especially important to be aware of your surroundings if you are traveling alone. But whether solo or with loved ones, night travel should be avoided if you are visiting somewhere you aren’t familiar with. If you do travel at night stay on main roads that are well lit.

7. Keep your personal belongings close at the airport.

Thieves may scour airports looking for careless travelers. Keep your luggage with you at all times. Don’t set it down and walk away. Also, don’t hang back after a flight to wait for the crowds to thin. If you do, you risk someone else picking up your bag by accident or not.

6. Don’t keep all your cash sources in the same place.

Don’t keep your cash with your credit cards or traveler’s checks. Find a place to put each source of cash. If one of your pockets are picked you will still have the other cash sources. If your hotel has a safe, store what cash you don’t need for the day there, instead of taking everything with you.

5. Keep Your ID on you at all times.

Have some form of identification on you if you are traveling, at all times. If you have an accident or are in an emergency, identification will help medical, police or anyone help you easily.

4. Scan all your major documents.

Email copies of all your major travel documents (passport, visas, insurance info, etc) to yourself. If you lose something you’ll always have a copy that you can print.

3. Don’t change your money at an airport.

Again, thieves like to hang out and airports looking for potential targets. It may be tempting to change your money at the airport since it is more convenient. But you should avoid showing off how much cash you have on hand. Instead find a bank and take care of money changing there.

2. Get travel insurance.

Travel insurance is important for a couple of reasons. If you have an accident and have to go to the hospital, travel insurance will help avoid thousands of dollars in medical bills. Travel insurance can also help if you lose any of your personal belongings or are a victim of a robbery.

1. Tell your family about your travel plans.

Find out if your mobile devices will work in the places you plan to travel. You can always rent a phone to keep your family up to date. Let friends or family know daily where you plan to be and your hotel information. If you are in remote parks or the wilderness always let someone know when you plan to return.

March is National Kidney Disease Awareness Month

KidneyWorld Kidney Day was on Saturday, which was created to promote awareness of kidney diseases. Because of the holiday the entire month of March is also National Kidney Disease Awareness Month. Travel Care Air stands with those who fight kidney disease as well as those who fight for better care, funding and research for the disease.

It may seem trivial to devote an entire month to the kidney, but it is one of the more overlooked vital organs. The kidneys are vital to maintaining overall health. The kidneys provide a filter system for your body. Kidneys filter waste out of 200 liters of blood each day. The kidneys are also responsible for regulating the body’s salt, acid and potassium contents. Kidneys also act as the balancing act for all the body’s fluids.

Aside from acting as the body’s filter system kidneys also release hormones that regulate the body’s blood pressure. Kidneys are also responsible for controlling the production of red blood cells. The kidneys even help strengthen the body’s bones by producing an active form of vitamin D.

Kidneys should receive a checkup because one in three Americans are at risk for kidney disease. Over 31 million Americans are struggling with kidney disease, some don’t know it. In the United States more than 590,000 people have kidney failure today. The leading cause of kidney disease is diabetes. Almost have of people that have kidney failure acquire the disease because of diabetes. Other causes of kidney disease include family history of kidney failure as well as high blood pressure. Kidney disease is currently the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.

Preventing kidney disease requires checkups. If you are diabetic, have high blood pressure, or other cardiovascular problems, or a family history of kidney failure you should seek consistent checkups from a doctor. Several locations, sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation actually hold free kidney screening this month. Symptoms of kidney disease include feeling sick often, back pain, swelling in your feet, hands or face and feeling tired or dizzy often. Other signs include bloody, foamy or dark-colored urine and changes in the frequency you go to the bathroom (more or less).

If you don’t have kidney disease you can help someone who does. Kidney donors are always in need, with over 118,000 Americans currently waiting for a kidney transplant, according to the National Kidney Foundation. By identifying as a donor when you sign up for your license, you are helping to save a life after yours ends.

But you can donate a kidney when you are alive as well. Thanks to medical advances no genetic link is required between the donor and recipient. One kidney is all a healthy person needs to live a normal, healthy life, which is why kidney donation is the most common organ donation. When one kidney is removed, the remaining kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss.

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