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International Air Ambulance | Travel Care Air - International Air Ambulance | Travel Care Air

Logistics of International Air Ambulance Flight

international-air-ambulanceA lot of people wonder what it takes to pull off an international air ambulance mission. Depending on where the patient is traveling, the logistics can be very difficult. You have to factor in weather conditions in every part of the world, need to have proper communications with different airports, overcome language barriers in the health care industry, and so much more. International air ambulance trips are our specialty, and our years of experience help make the logistics pretty easy to manage.

Take, for example, one of our more recent international air ambulance flights. About a week ago our client needed to be transported from Boston, MA to the Philippines. The flight out of Boston left at about 2:30 in the morning and made its first stop at Saskatoon in Canada. From there the mission went from Anchorage to Nome (both in Alaska) before leaving the United States for the second time en route to Petropavlovsk, Russia. After leaving Russia the flight went to Tokyo and made one last top in Taipei, Taiwan. From Taipei the flight reached it’s final destination of Lapu-Lapu in the Philippines. The total flight time was about 22 hours.

You may wonder why an international air ambulance mission has so many stops. While every trip varies the main reasons for the frequent stops are for fuel and to change the pilot crews. The above mission used three different pilot crews, with changes in Anchorage and in Tokyo. These changes are necessary to ensure the safety of the flight and to keep our pilots in safe working conditions.

As we noted earlier there are several factors that can’t always be controlled when it comes to pulling off a successful international air ambulance mission. Depending on the time of the year, weather can play a major role. When flying overseas and with several stops in between it’s almost impossible to as the weather to cooperate in so many destinations. It takes a great deal of communication between our staff as well as the control centers of the different airports to have the best understanding for what’s in the best safety interests of the flight.

While the pilots get a break, there’s no change in the medical crews on each flight. So during layovers the medical crews may use what little time they have on the ground to take a short rest, change shifts in looking after the patient, or update any of the patients medical needs. Keeping the same medical team in tact during the flight provides comfort and consistency for the patient.

There’s no substitute for experience. Our international air ambulance missions run smoothly because we’ve been through them for over three decades. For more information about our services and to learn more about what makes us special like us on Facebook!


10 Ways to Live Healthy

ID-100217356If you have a sedentary life-style, or you haven’t been eating the best foods there are simple ways you can live a more healthy life. Studies have shown that small life-style changes can have long lasting impacts on improving your health. In many cases you don’t have to do a complete overhaul of your life. Here are some simple things that you can do starting today to improve your health.

1. Think Positive. That’s right, sometimes you don’t have to do anything at all but change your attitude. Studies have shown that thinking happy thoughts can boost your immune system and your body believes what you are thinking.

2. Don’t Ignore Routine Screenings. Going to the doctor and the dentist is very important for your overall health. You can get out in front of any illness or injuries before they become more serious.

3. Make a Lot of Food at Once. Cooking can seem too time consuming for busy professionals. But it is much more healthy and affordable than consistently eating out. Instead of worrying about cooking every day, cook in bulk. Make 2-3 meals per week and freeze the leftovers. You will be less likely to eat out if you have food waiting for your at home.

4. Sleep Better. Try to avoid electronics a few hours before you want to go to sleep. Also, don’t exercise right before bed. A lot of activity before bed will make it harder to fall asleep. You should also have a set bedtime. That routine will help your body fall asleep faster.

5. Move Daily. Even 10 minutes of exercise done every day has a lot of health benefits. Don’t feel like you need to exert yourself on a daily basis. Just find a few minutes every day for some walking, running, push ups, anything to get your body moving.

6. Don’t Supplement Your Diet. There are lots of supplement products that claim to have health benefits, but if you need those, you probably aren’t eating right. Instead, focus on getting your nutrients from food itself.

7. Spend Time Outside. Getting outside will help those positive thoughts to start to flow. Fresh air has also been proven to improve oxygen flow in the body.

8. Make Healthy Friends. The people around you will affect your behavior. If you are surrounded with unhealthy people it will make your healthy life-style that much more difficult to obtain. Joining a gym or a basketball league are just a few examples on how to meet healthy people.

9. Dine Out Smart. Research healthy restaurants. Many restaurants are also posting calorie information on their menus to help diners make informed decisions. Avoid fast food and try to find local restaurants that have healthier options.

10. Start Small and Build. Don’t try to lose 50 pounds in the first week. Set attainable goals for yourself that you know you can maintain, based on your schedule and your personal habits. Don’t become frustrated if you don’t see immediate results.


How to Get a Kidney Transplant Quickly

ID-100137844One common reason why people call us for an air ambulance is they are traveling to receive a kidney transplant, or returning home, or both. Either way we are very familiar with the struggle and frustration that many people go through waiting for a kidney transplant. However there are steps that you can take to speed up the process. Being informed about your options and knowing what to do will give you an advantage over others in this often difficult waiting game.

The first step is to get on the donor list as soon as possible. Have a doctor’s referral ready to go and start to research the over-200 donor hospitals for the best one in your area. It can take up to 10 days for approval so moving as quickly as possible will help cut down on extra waiting time. Some transplant programs accept multiple listings so you may be able to register at additional transplant centers. You can also transfer your name to another center if you move or have a change in health insurance.

Do a lot of research to find the shortest wait times. There are several websites that are dedicated to researching the shortest wait times based on location. It is estimated by the National Kidney Foundation that there are over 100,000 people waiting for an organ transplant, however an average of just 17,000 operations are performed each year. By knowing what areas have shorter waiting times, you can make sure you are registered in the right area. If you are flexible and can travel it will help improve your chances of finding a donor faster.

There was a study done to find the shortest wait times. The study, by the American Journal of Transplantation found the longest wait times were in the Southeast while the shortest waiting times were in the New England area. Factors like the amount of transplant centers and workers factor into the wait times. Patients health insurance (or lack of) plus the amount of for-profit Dialysis centers also contributed to wait times.

You should also avoid tempting, but threatening measures to speed up the process. It is illegal in the United States to pay someone for a kidney donation. It is not illegal in some other countries, however, and many people see this as an opportunity to beat the system. But you could be putting yourself in serious danger. A recent study found that over half (52%) of people that traveled overseas for a transplant came home with some kind of infection. 30% of those people also had the kidney rejected (compared to just 12% in the United States). Organ trafficking is also a dangerous world-wide problem.

Of course the fastest method to receive a kidney is to have a family member donate a kidney. The procedure is very safe for both the donor and recipient and will cut your wait time down to next to zero. You can ask your family physician if anyone in your family is a match and find out if he or she will be willing to donate to you.


Learn the Heimlich Maneuver

heimlichIt can be a scary situation if a loved one starts to choke on something and you don’t know what to do. Learning the Heimlich maneuver may one day save someone’s life. The Heimlich maneuver was developed by Dr. Henry Heimlich in 1974 and since then it has been used to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries all over the globe.

First, a little background: Prior to the Heimlich maneuver back slaps were the most common way to assist someone choking. A study done by Yale in the early 1980s found this was ineffective. However, later studies found that Heimlich may have had something to do with forcing the maneuver, or abdominal thrusts on the public. Whatever side of history you’re on, there is no doubt about the effectiveness of the Heimlich maneuver.

So what is the proper method for assisting a choking victim? First, find out if the person is choking or not. A choking victim will not be able to speak or breathe. Look for other common signs like grasping the throat with his or her hands, noisy breathing or a blue color to the lips and/or fingernails due to lack of oxygen.

Approach the victim and be calm and reassuring. Make sure they know you are there to help them. They will be panicked to begin with, so your calming presence is necessary to help calm them down. Call for help only after you have helped the victim. Unless you are in a public place, then instruct someone else to call 9-1-1.

If the choking victim isn’t standing already, place them in a standing position. If the person is heavy and you can’t lift you can perform the maneuver in a sitting position. Just make sure that you have enough room. When in a standing position make sure you are directly behind the victim. Stand with your legs spread like a camera tripod. This will help you act as a stable source if the person should pass out and collapse due to lack of oxygen.

Once you are in position reach your arms around the victim’s waist. Place your first, with the thumb side in, just above the belly button. Then, grab the fist tightly with your other hand. Pull your fist quickly upward and inward to increase airway pressure. This will force the object from the windpipe.

If the person can’t stand you should lay them on his or her back (if they aren’t in that position already) and straddle the person facing the head. Grasp your fist in the manner described above. Push the grasped fist upward and inward similar to the standing position maneuver.

It’s very likely that you will have to repeat the process several times before the object is discharged. The American Red Cross recommends that you alternate between the maneuver and back blows five times each. The American Heart Association, however, does not recommend back blows. Some experts believe that back blows can further trap the object but the debate about that maneuver rages on. What’s most important is the Heimlich, so if that is the only procedure you are familiar with, use that alone and you may very well save someone’s life!


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.


Helping patients get there with care for over 30 years