One needs to be more cautious than usual when the situation involves the health of elderly people; medical flights are no different. If you have an elderly person in your home, you already know about the kind of precautions that you need to take beforehand even if it is a routine doctor’s appointment. The effort required is much more if elderly people fall sick in foreign nations and an evacuation is warranted through medical flights. If you are faced with a situation like this, here are a few tips that will ensure smooth transportation.
Know About All Existing Health Conditions
Medical flights can hold a lot of equipment. However, since there is a space constraint, usually only the necessary ones are carried. It is, therefore, vital that you mention all such details before booking medical flights. Besides, the information allows the air ambulance company to have the right medical experts on board. For instance, if the patient suffers from dementia or other such age-related ailments, special arrangements may be required.
Medical Flights Must be Told About Any Mobility Issues
While some elderly patients need wheelchairs, others may need wheelchairs with oxygen. From stretchers to hospital beds, medical flights can arrange anything, provided they get a proper insight into the requirements beforehand. The person booking the flight must be knowledgeable about such requirements. One does not need to be overwhelmed by it. A detailed discussion with the treating physician can help to a great extent.
Know About Companion Restrictions if Any
Depending on the medical experts and equipment required onboard, a companion may or may not be allowed to travel along with the elderly patient. It is good to know about such things in advance. One must be proactive in asking the medical flights about such minute details to avoid unpleasant surprises later.
Insurance coverage denials have long troubled patients, especially when they avail of air ambulance services based on the suggestions of treating physicians. It must be noted that any patient who is in a serious medical condition cannot deny air ambulance transport surpassing the suggestion by the treating physician. The situation has caused many instances where the cost burden is ultimately transferred to the patient when the insurance company denies coverage. This time around, it was a patient who was suggested to fly to a level 1 trauma hospital in Florida. He was on a cruise at the time, and he had suffered a myocardial infarction.
The Insurance Company Had Suggested Against Using Air Ambulance Service
Insurance companies usually suggest that patients are brought to the nearest appropriate treating facility, else the coverage is denied. However, it is the insurance company that decides the appropriateness of the treating facility. In this case, the treating physician had suggested a facility in Florida whereas the insurance company had suggested a nearby hospital. Despite what the insurance provider had said, the patient was flown to Florida. This was the reason why his insurance coverage was denied. In response to this, the patient has now sued the insurance company.
The Air Ambulance Bill Came up to USD 240,000
An air ambulance bill that runs into huge amounts, such as the one received by the patient in question, can run anyone into bankruptcy. The reason cited for denial was that the advice of the insurance provider was not heeded. The hospital expenses and the land ambulance cost were covered but not the air ambulance service.
The lawsuit was filed on the 6th of October by the patient and names the insurance company for denying the coverage. He believes that the insurance provider had wrongly tried to force him to avail of a medical facility that was not in his best interest.
Tragedy struck the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, recently snuffing the lives of four people. According to the police of the country, the incident involved the pilot trainer whose name was Khamis Saeed Al-Holy along with Lieutenant Pilot Nasser Muhammad Al-Rashidi. The two seemed to have been in control of the air medical flight at the time. Also present in the helicopter during the tragic accident were nurse Joel Qiui Sakara Minto and Dr. Shahid Farouk Gholam. It was not immediately clear what happened and how the accident occurred as no details were reported to by the police initially. The news was initially made public by the country’s leading news organization, Khaleej Times.
Fog was Probably the Reason Behind the Air Medical Flight Tragedy
Although not announced as the reason for the air medical flight, it was seen that shortly after the crash, an advisory was sent out. This advisory cautioned people about the fog situation that was limiting visibility. Motorists were informed that the speed limit had been brought down to tackle the situation. It is a well-known fact that fog can reduce visibility down to dangerous levels. However, it is not clear as to why the air medical flight had taken to air despite the fact. It was also not clear whether the vehicle was enroute to a medical emergency.
The Sheik and the Police Express Condolences
The Sheik of Abu Dhabi Lt-Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan and several high-ranking government officials attended the funeral. Care was taken to maintain social distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation. The Sheik, later in the day, took to the popular social media channel, Twitter, to express his grief over the incident. Expressing his condolences to the family, he wished the souls of the departed rested in eternal peace with the almighty.