A Before and After Medical Checklist for Traveling Abroad

Posted on Thu, Apr 13, 2017

Every human being has a need for traveling. Exploring new cities and countries allows us to learn and develop, no matter what stage of our lives we are in. However, many individuals who are living with medical conditions feel that they are not capable of this necessary exploration. Yet, this myth is not at all true. We are all able to travel, despite medical conditions.

We have put together a medical checklist to make travel possible for those who are living with medical conditions.

Before Your Travels

Review Your Health Insurance Coverage

Before arranging your travel plans make sure your insurance coverage will meet the actual cost of your trip. Especially when traveling abroad, expenses can quickly add up and require payment up front. If your current coverage won’t be enough to take care of your trip consider looking into a short-term plan or supplemental plan to cover your medical expenses.

Gather Contact Information

Make sure you collect all of the necessary contact information for your trip. This should include the contact information of your primary physician, your insurance supplier, and any emergency contacts that you may need to call.

Plan Your Transportation

Medical_Checklist_508-(4).jpgYou should also arrange your transportation before you go. Research the area you are traveling to, in order to find the best way to get around. Many who travel with medical conditions should consider air ambulance service options.

Put Together an Itinerary

Much like any person traveling, you should have an itinerary put together before you go. List all of the places you plan on exploring, with dates and contact numbers included. You should provide a copy of this itinerary to a friend or loved one, so they will have an idea of where you are in case of a medical emergency.

Gather a Medical Kit

Medical_Checklist_410-(3).jpgBefore you leave, it is important to put together a medical kit. This will allow you to keep your prescriptions in order. It is suggested to bring enough to cover the days you will be gone, plus a few extras (in case there is any need for an extension of your vacation). Furthermore, this kit should include a standard first aid kit, in case of a minor emergency.

Update Your Vaccines

Speak with your physicians to find any necessary vaccinations that you may need to stay well during your travels. This generally only applies to international travel, but it is still a recommended step for any travelers.

After Your Travels

Schedule a Checkup

After returning from a vacation, you should schedule a checkup with your physician, even if you feel completely fine. Doing this will ensure that you did not contract any diseases that have been identified in the country or area you were visiting. As this is important for any traveler, it is especially important.

Announce Your Return

Once you have returned from your travels, you should let your friends and loved ones know you have returned safely.


Chelsea Rush's Amazing Recovery

Posted on Tue, Feb 07, 2017

chelsea-of-the-sea-fw-(1).pngOn February 29th, 2016, Chelsea Rush was admitted to Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs, California with a severe spinal cord injury. She sustained the injury after being involved in a shocking ATC accident. Further investigation revealed that Chelsea received a fracture in her cervical 5 vertebrae, located in the neck. As a result, she is paralyzed from the chest down.

Chelsea encountered several complications after safely making it to the Desert Regional Hospital. Sadly, she developed several infections as well as a case of pneumonia, but was able to fight it off over the course of ten grueling days in the hospital.

Doctors watched her infections very closely and decided, after she had recovered, the best plan of action was to address the fracture in her spine. The surgical team was able to rebuild her C5 vertebrae and fuse the C4 and C6 vertebrae as well. Until this time she was unable to sit upright, but with the strength reintroduced into her neck from the surgery, she was able to sit more comfortably. In addition, they began to wean her off of her ventilator, allowing her to  slowly breathe on her own over time.

Six days later she was able to sit up for the first time in over two weeks with the help of the hospital’s physical therapy team. She was also able to do a majority of her breathing by herself and the fevers from her pneumonia and infections were broken.

An additional, six days later and Chelsea was removed from the intensive care unit. Her infection and sickness were completely under control and physical therapy could finally begin.

After a total of one month in the hospital she was able to begin breathing and eating on her own. Although, most of her muscle mass was lost during her stay at the hospital. Physical therapists struggled to rebuild her lost muscle mass and unfortunately the level of daily care Chelsea needed was hard to meet at this crucial time in her recovery. She was facing 6-7 hours of physical therapy each and every day.

Consequently, Chelsea’s family decided that the best plan of action was to move her to the most highly regarded spinal cord rehabilitation center in the country, Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. However, Chelsea’s weakened state demanded that she remained bedridden. It would be impossible to move her by traditional means. She was accepted into the care of Craig Hospital and with the help of a personal life flight carrier, she safely made it to the location on April 11th, 2016.

For the next couple of months Chelsea powered through intense physical therapy that was tailored specifically for her recovery. Casts were voluntarily placed on her limbs in an attempt to un-freeze some of the weak muscles around her body. This was a very slow and painful process, but Chelsea was able to endure it and by June she was able to regain movement of her wrists and part of her arms.

At the time of the injury she was about 3 months pregnant with her son Wyatt. Her son remained healthy and unharmed during her months of recovery after arriving at the hospital. He was successfully delivered on August 18th, 2016 weighing in at 5 lbs, 3 oz.

At just 24 years of age, Chelsea sustained this unimaginable news, and yet she still remains hopeful. As of today, she has been discharged from Craig hospital and has regained much of the strength in her arms. She is now able to move herself in a custom wheelchair, specifically designed for her needs. 

Chelsea was able to attend her first physical therapy session outside of the hospital on September 18th, 2016. Every day she regains more of her strength with the help of her friends, family, and aftercare specialists.

The family started a fundraising campaign in order to pay for the costs to get Chelsea the care she so desperately needs. They were able to raise over $150,000 for Chelsea’s cause. Donations are still being accepted to anyone who wishes to help out Chelsea and her family. 


The Benefits of Medical Tourism

Posted on Tue, Jan 24, 2017

benefits-of-medical-tourism-web.jpgAs modern medicine is becoming increasingly advanced, there are many new opportunities opening for patients and doctors alike. One of these new benefits is the availability of medical tourism.

What exactly is medical tourism?

Medical Tourism is when a patient travels outside of the country or state, in order to receive medical care. This has become much more available, now that there are commercial air ambulance services available, where qualified patients are able to be transferred by airplane. This rather new - now popularized - practice of air medical escort services has raised a lot of talks within the medical world. Most are praising this practice, because it allows individuals to receive medical care that may have not been an option - due to time or costs. Furthermore, this practice also allows individuals from lesser-developed areas to travel to more advanced areas in order to receive medical attention that may not be available in their country or region. This multi-billion dollar industry is changing the way the medical world works. Commercial air medical escort services, a non-emergency service ensures patients get to their destination, accompanied by a trained medical professional and proper medical equipment. Patients can save costs by using a commercial airline instead of a private medical jet, but let's also take a look at a few of the benefits of medical tourism.

Medical Tourism Can Reduce Medical Care Costs

Perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of medical tourism, is the cost. The New York Times covered the story of a man who was in need of a hip replacement surgery. The cost of this operation in the United States was estimated to nearly $100,000. He was able to travel to a private hospital in Belgium for the surgery, which ended up costing only $13,660, including travel expenses. That is an 86% decrease! As medical costs in the U.S. are continuing to skyrocket a lot of patients are beginning to look into the idea of travelling for their medical needs. This is mostly due to the cost of care being significantly lower in other parts of the world.

Some speculate the costs are lower, because the quality of care is significantly less. However, this is not the case. Many hospitals and clinics in other countries offer the same care as we find in the U.S., the difference is that many international hospitals are privately operated, with far less government regulation than what we see in the United States. Meaning the cost of medical services in these areas is significantly less.

Medical Tourism Can Be Significantly Faster

The world of medicine thrives off of urgency. If a patient needs an organ transplant or blood transfusion, these operations need to be done as soon as possible. However, due to demand, patients are often put on a wait list, and must wait for months (sometimes even years) to receive the care that they need. This can take a serious toll on their quality of life. Thankfully, medical tourism is helping solve this issue. This practice gives a patient world-wide options, rather than being confined to one region or country.

Medical Tourism is Still Tourism

An additional benefit of travelling to receive medical care, is that a patient has the ability to experience new areas and cultures while they recover. Many medical travellers are able to spend their time sightseeing and exploring new worlds.

If you or a loved one is in need of medical care, it may be worthwhile to look into medical tourism. If you decide this is right for you, we can help get you to wherever you need to go. Here is a tool to show you the locations that we offer our air ambulance flights to and from.