Medical Escort is our area of expertise and our most utilized service. Our R.N. flight nurse will accompany you in the business or first class cabin of a major commercial airline. We assist many patients who are immobile or unable to care for themselves by transferring them into a business or first class seat that offers a reclining position during their flight. International carriers often offer sleeper seats in their first class cabin that recline to a bed position and provide for additional privacy.
To ensure safe travel we secure required medical clearances, coordinate all ground and air transportation and arrange for any specialized medical equipment that you require.
We closely monitor your medical status from your first phone call until reaching your destination. Under the direction of your personal physician and health care team, we receive updated medical reports until your departure to ensure that we modify your flight plan to secure a safe arrival. All treatment administered in-flight follows medical orders provided by your primary care physician. Emergency treatment is performed in accordance with the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Standards.
Upon arrival at your destination your flight nurse will provide a detailed briefing to the receiving medical facility. If your home is your final destination, your flight nurse will help you and your family make an informed and comfortable adjustment based on your medical needs.
Class of seating: Our flight nurses travel to and from their base in economy class seating. Our patient and flight nurse travel in the business or first class cabin. Many of our patients are unable to ambulate, converse, support themselves in a seated position or care for any of their needs. We commonly lift patients and place them in a reclined business or first class seat. Changing a patient's position by shifting them in this larger seat, elevating their legs, and performing range of motion to their extremities is imperative to maintain adequate circulation, limit edema and decrease the risk of blood clots. The business or first class cabin offers more privacy, a quiet environment and added space if a medical emergency were to occur.
Commercial airline stretcher service: This is very limited to only a few commercial airlines. This is often cost prohibitive and very uncomfortable for our patients. It requires lowering the backs of several coach seats and a framed gurney is elevated over the seats. It is generally not recommend for the following reasons: The airline stretcher kit has a narrow frame and thin pad. The patient is required to have several straps across their chest and legs and cannot be turned or repositioned due to the narrow width. The stretcher head and back support rises approximately 12 inches, preventing the patient from sitting fairly upright to assist with respiratory efforts. The stretcher is located along the window, limiting the nurse to care for the patient from one side only. There is a privacy curtain, but the patient must be viewed by our nurse at all times exposing their care to multiple passengers.
After evaluating your medical transport needs and consulting with your health care providers, Flying Nurses International can secure authorization for stretcher service. A detailed medical clearance form must be approved by the medical department of the airline which may take from seventy-two hours up to two weeks.
Use of Medical Equipment: In-flight use of medical equipment must first be accepted by the medical department of each airline. They review the specifications and manufacturer of each device. Generally, most battery-operated equipment will be accepted. Certain aircraft may allow the use of their power system for auxiliary use.
Use of Supplemental Oxygen: Supplemental oxygen may be necessary to compensate for the decrease in cabin oxygen levels. Most major commercial airlines will provide a limited supply of oxygen for in-flight use only. Pre-approval by the airline's medical department with advance notification of 48-72 hours is required. A written statement of oxygen use is required from the patient's primary care physician. Effective in 2005, many domestic airline carriers no longer provide in-flight oxygen tanks and are offering the option of using personal oxygen concentrators. We will assist in determining the most appropriate option for your medical transport needs and will arrange oxygen at departure, at layovers and upon arrival.
International Travel: Our medical escort flight nurses will accompany a patient to any safe destination worldwide. We have safely traveled to 82 countries and 6 continents. Many of our nurses are bi-lingual. Airline flight crew will offer assistance with translation in-flight as needed for a comfortable journey.