The helpless feeling of sitting by your loved one’s bedside, watching them suffer, and wondering if you’re doing enough to help them can be overwhelming. In such situations, you may feel scared, anxious, and depressed. The situation may be worse if you have to fly your loved one abroad. 

If you or your loved one have ever been in such a situation, don’t fret. International medical flights can make your experience less stressful. These flights are an incredible resource for those in need of critical care. This article discusses some things you should expect during an international medical flight. 

Pre-Flight Preparations

Before embarking on an international medical flight, several crucial preparations take place to ensure the safety and well-being of the patient. Some critical aspects of pre-flight preparations include: 

a. Medical Assessment And Clearance

The first step in preparing for an international medical flight involves a thorough medical evaluation. The patient’s stability is paramount before undertaking a long-distance journey. During this process, medical professionals will assess the patient’s condition, review vital signs, conduct tests, and analyze medical records to ensure they are fit for travel.

For example, if a patient requires specialized medical equipment or life support during the flight, they’ll find out if such equipment is available and operational. This will ensure that the proper care is given during the journey. 

b. Communicating With The Medical Flight Team 

Effective communication between the patient, their healthcare provider, and the medical flight team is vital. Clear and detailed information about the patient’s medical history and condition will enable the flight team to prepare for the journey adequately.

A flight team may require patients to provide comprehensive medical documentation, such as test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans, to help them understand their unique needs. The team can also use this information to provide appropriate medical care during the flight. 

c. Logistics And Planning 

The logistics and planning phase involves coordination between the medical flight team and the receiving medical facility. This collaboration is necessary to ensure a seamless transition for the patient upon arrival. During this process, the receiving medical facility may ask for pertinent information about the patient’s condition, necessary equipment, and any specific requirements. Additionally, they may organize ground transportation and obtain permits for the medical flight. 

Onboard The Medical Flight

Once the pre-flight preparations are complete, the patient is ready for the international medical flight. Here’s what happens during the onboard medical flight. 

a. Specialized Medical Equipment And Staff 

An international medical flight has specialized medical equipment to ensure the patient’s safety and well-being during the journey. Advanced life support systems, monitoring devices, and emergency medications should be readily available to address any medical emergencies that may arise. The patient should also be accompanied by highly trained medical staff, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

b. Monitoring And Care 

Throughout the medical flight, the patient’s vital signs are continuously monitored. Blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and other essential indicators are closely observed to ensure the patient remains stable.

Administration of medications and necessary treatments may also be part of the medical care provided during the flight. The medical staff will follow a predetermined treatment plan and ensure the patient receives the required medications on schedule. This continuous care will maintain the patient’s condition and manage any complications that may arise during the journey.

C. Comfort And Safety 

Ensuring patient comfort during an international flight is crucial. Fortunately, specialized seating arrangements and adjustable beds are available to accommodate the patient’s needs and provide optimal comfort. Safety precautions and protocols are also rigorously followed to mitigate risks during the flight. This focus on comfort and safety creates an environment conducive to the patient’s well-being.

Arrival At The Destination

After a successful medical flight, the patient arrives at the destination. Several vital steps occur during this phase to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of care. They include: 

Transition To The Receiving Medical Facility 

Handing the patient’s care to the local medical team is crucial for continued treatment. Communication between the medical flight team and the receiving medical facility allows for exchanging vital information, including medical records, test results, and treatment plans. The receiving medical facility should be well-prepared to receive the patient and clearly understand their condition. 

Post-Flight Assessments And Follow-Up 

Upon arrival at the destination health facility, the patient undergoes post-flight assessments to evaluate their condition and identify any immediate concerns. These assessments may include physical examinations and diagnostic tests.

After an international medical flight, patients must adhere to their treatment plans, attend scheduled appointments, and follow the recommendations provided by their healthcare providers. 

Summing Up

International medical flights require meticulous preparations and involve the use of specialized medical equipment and staff. Every international medical flight is unique. So, it’s essential to communicate openly with the medical team, ask questions, and seek clarification throughout the process. Being well-prepared and informed will ensure you navigate a medical flight more smoothly. Contact an international medical flight provider today to get the care and comfort you need throughout this process.