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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.


Air Ambulance and Transplant Needs

air-ambulanceTravel Care’s air ambulance services are proud to help anyone who needs a transplant get where they need to go. An air ambulance is often used by people who need a transplant to ensure the safety of the patient as well as any organs needed for the transplant. An air ambulance can be used by transplant patients for almost any surgery. And our international air ambulance services means you can find the best possible care for whatever transplant you need, anywhere in the world.

Timing is key to a successful air ambulance transplant mission. If you are on a waiting list for an organ you should speak with an air ambulance company the second you are put on a wait list. While we are more than equipped to fly our air ambulance on short notice, it’s always good to be prepared, especially if an organ or surgery may be needed in another state or country.

Letting us know about your needs ahead of time will ensure we will be ready to go when the phone call comes. We can also help you prepare by discussing finance options, including whether or not insurance can cover the air ambulance flight. We can also give you some tips on how to be prepared to leave as soon as the call comes to you. Having an air ambulance team to rely on is just as important on the ground as it is in the air. Travel Care takes pride on personal relationships and being available to take your call and guide you through the process.

Using an air ambulance gives you options. Rather than focusing on waiting for a transplant in a specific geographical range, using an air ambulance means you can get the transplant you need, regardless of where you live, or where the donor is located.

Each air ambulance flight is staffed with a highly-experienced, professional medical staff. If a loved one needs special medical care, before or after a transplant, an air ambulance can give you piece of mind. Having a medical crew will ensure a comfortable flight and can help avoid any potential emergencies for the patient. Both private and commercial air ambulance flights are available based on your needs and comfort.

In some cases an organ, not the patient will need to be transported by an air ambulance. Travel Care Air  offers state of the art equipment to ensure the safe transportation of an organ. Because we use the latest technology, you can count on us to make sure an organ needed for a transplant will arrive in perfect condition, anywhere in the world.

For more information on all of our air ambulance services, plus more air ambulance tips and advice, please follow us on Twitter.


Top Travel Destinations for 2015

1427747_81568950Winter’s tight grip on us all is coming to an end (soon we hope) which means the height of travel season is upon us. If you are planning on a trip, but aren’t sure where to go, we have some helpful tips from the experts. Travel is one of the best ways to truly get to know other cultures and there are a lot of popular destinations to choose from.

Corsica

According to National Geographic this Mediterranean island has been under the control of the French since 1769. But with both Italian and French influences, there is a lot of beauty and culture to take in. Corsica has some of the most beautiful, untouched mountain ranges with quiet little villages. If you love the outdoors you will love Corsica, which is about 40% protected land filled with hiking trails and large oak and pine forests. Bonifacio is the top tourist town in Corsica because it offers unbelievable cliff views of the sunrise.

Catskills, NY

If you’re looking domestically, think about taking a trip to the Catskills. This part of New York covers a wide part of the state, with stylish and elegant bread and breakfasts scattered throughout. Visiting the Catskills is one of the best romantic getaways in the United States. There are so many area farms that you’ll have to try to NOT find local food used in the restaurants. Think a lovely week of fly fishing, going antiquing and tasting some wonderful micro-brews. Plus the Catskills is home to Yasgur’s Farm, the host of Woodstock.

Budapest

Budapest offers a different sense of culture in central Europe. One reason why Budapest is a popular option is it caters to the many. You can find everything from affordable hostels to the most elegant hotels in Europe in Budapest. Budapest is for anyone who loves culture, with the Szepmuveszeti Muzeum (Museum of Fine Arts) attracting millions each year. The Hungarian National Gallery focuses on art that dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Break up trips to museums by spending a day in one of Budapest’s popular thermal baths.

Abisko, Sweden

Abisko’s main draw is the northern lights. On the right day you can get a glimpse of this wonder of nature as far south as Scotland. But if you really want to take in this rare natural wonder head to the Aurora Skystation in Abisko. The station is located only 200km from the Arctic Circle, so dress warm. Really, really warm. Try to visit in the winter to maximize the view. Long winter nights are the perfect time to view the northern lights. Mountains help block out any light pollution in Abisko.

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata is on the Dominican Republic’s northern beaches. If you love the beach but hate the crowds that come with it, Puerto Plata is the place for you. Several new resorts have opened with more work planned in 2015 which means it is a still to be discovered paradise. You can find private bedroom apartments to rent that look more like penthouses. Puerto Plata is the perfect place to go if you want to avoid tourists traps, get a heavy dose of culture and have a private vacation in an area that prides itself on luxury.


Air Ambulance Rate Improvement Bill in Senate

air-ambulanceThe United States Senate is looking at ways to improve the ways air ambulance companies are paid. The effort is intended to help air ambulance reliability in rural areas by ensuring the air ambulance company is paid a fair rate. The bill, introduced in the Senate by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and five other members of Congress, is exciting for anyone in the air ambulance industry.

The bill, if passed, would provide more stability to air ambulance services. The Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 745) would end uncertainty that some air ambulance providers face when being reimbursed for their services. According to Rep. Walden two studies conducted in 2007 and 2012 found Medicare is reimbursing some air ambulance companies below the cost of the service. This is especially true in rural areas, where the costs are higher for the services.

Under current law Congress has to pass temporary legislative fixes so air ambulance companies can receive higher rates. Because the relief is temporary, availability of an air ambulance is threatened all over the country each time the rate adjustments are about to expire. Because so many people in remote areas depend on air ambulance services, the need for stability in the funding for the services is vital.

The Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act of 2015 would provide permanent fixes by giving air ambulance providers a 2-percent payment increase in urban areas and a 3-percent payment increase in rural areas. Areas designated as “super rural” would receive a bonus payment.

The bill also implements anti-fraud measures that aim to curb abuse of air ambulance services. The bill, if passed, would build on the existing prior authorization programs that are in place in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

The new law would institute 60-day advanced authorizations for air ambulance transports throughout the country for end-stage renal disease to and from dialysis facilities. A study by the CMS Inspector General in 2013 found the increases in these transfers were a breeding ground for abuse and fraud. Preventing fraud ensures the proper funding for Medicare services and will help pay for the law.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Walden on February 4th. Currently the bill has bipartisan support. For more information about  The Medicare Ambulance Access, Fraud Prevention, and Reform Act of 2015, click here.

Stay up to date on the progress of H.R. 745 by clicking here.

For more information about Travel Care’s air ambulance services for your needs, and for more air ambulance news, follow us on Twitter.


How an Air Ambulance Helps Trauma Victims

air-ambulanceWe have written many times before about the benefits to using an air ambulance to save lives. An air ambulance, in many situations, can help save a life by providing quicker services than traditional ambulances. When it comes to trauma victims the time factor is even more important.

The “Golden Hour” is an industry term that highlights the importance of reaching trauma victims within the first hour. Studies have shown a better survival rate in trauma victims who receive help within the first hour after suffering the injury. An air ambulance can factor heavily into helping during the “Golden Hour.” If a trauma victim suffers the injury in a remote or rural area an air ambulance can be brought in to quickly start applying medical care.

The air ambulance can also reach a trauma victim if roads are impassable, or if there are no roads to begin with. Skiing or snowmobile accidents are prime examples of how an air ambulance can access areas traditional transportation can’t. The American Medical Association recently found that people transported to a trauma center via an air ambulance had a 16 percent greater chance of survival.

Another study by the National Association of State EMS Officials supports using an air ambulance for trauma victims. The study found that 81.4 million people have been helped during the “Golden Hour” by an air ambulance that otherwise would not have received proper care.

The State of Arizona took the air ambulance study even further. From January 2005 through December 2008 the Arizona Department of Health Services did a comprehensive look at how effective an air ambulance can be for trauma survival. 14 trauma centers took part in the study, which looked at severity of injuries and survival rates, among other factors.

The study found those transported via an air ambulance had a probability of survival of 88 percent. Of those patients, over half (55 percent) had an injury severity score of greater or equal to 15. The injury severity score measured how serious the injuries were, based on traditional trauma calculation methods. Nearly half of the patients (43 percent) transported via air ambulance went home within 24 hours.

An air ambulance can also be used in non-immediate situations for trauma victims. Trauma patients may also need an air ambulance well after the accident. In a lot of cases trauma victims in different countries will want to return home to help the recovery process. Being around family and friends creates a much needed support system.

Travel Care Air provides safe and reliable air ambulance transports all over the world. If you, or a loved one are recovering from a trauma injury we can bring them home as fast as you need us. Our services are available any day and any time. We don’t take time off because we know injuries can happen at a moment’s notice. For more information please follow us on Twitter.


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