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An expert review on private air ambulances

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An expert review on private air ambulances

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Traditional land ambulances are ineffective for long-distance patient transport, particularly if the patient needs to be transferred from one country to another and his condition is critical. Long-distance scheduled flights are also not advised for patients whose condition is unstable or who require special or complex care during the flight. Because of this, private ambulance flights are preferable. Medical Repatriation UK takes you behind the scenes to illustrate its main activities.

What are private air ambulances?

To put it simply, an ambulance flight, also known as an air ambulance, is an aircraft that is specially designed to transport sick and/or injured persons with varying degrees of medical conditions to and from healthcare facilities. The fleet of aeromedical transports at Medical Repatriation UK includes medical aircraft, private jets, and even helicopters.

Did you know that? Healthy clients who want to travel on a private plane and enjoy the ultimate in terms of hygiene, comfort, and customised service can also contact us.

Transporting sick or injured patients, on the other hand, necessitates the availability of appropriate medical equipment. We prioritize our passengers' health at Medical Repatriation UK and make it a point of honour to transport them in the best possible conditions, while also ensuring that their vital signs are stabilized throughout the flight. To accomplish this, we use cutting-edge medical technology.

The equipment we bring on board our flights is inspired by the most comprehensive and modern intensive care units, and it saves lives! We explain what it's all about right away.

air ambulance interior

Our private air ambulances, their interiors and their medical equipment

With the exception of commercial airliners, most aircraft used as air ambulances are equipped for advanced life support and have interiors that reflect this. The same is true for our aeromedical transports, as demonstrated by the following quick overview of the medical equipment we can provide, designed for optimal preparation in critical situations and in accordance with each of our patients' needs:

  • Oxygen capacity in carbon high pressure cylinders;
  • Respiration systems, including humidifiers for adults, paediatrics and neonates;
  • Monitoring devices such invasive and non-invasive blood pressure measurement, pulse oximetry, capnometry, temperature measurement, ECG monitoring;
  • Defibrillators with external cardiac pacemaker;
  • Syringe pumps and infusion pumps for IV tubing;
  • Blood gas analyser to determine the pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and partial pressure of oxygen in the blood;
  • Portable suction units used for removing obstructions like mucus, saliva, blood, or other secretions from the patient’s airway;
  • Critical care equipment for example videolaryngoscope, chest tube, urinary catheter, arterial catheter, surgical instruments, coniotomy, central venous line and care products;
  • Medication: standard medication (narcotics, antidotes…) for emergency and intensive care medicine;
  • Other special equipment if necessary: heavy weight stretcher; anti-decubitus mattress, blood units, wound pump, pacemaker, ECMO transport equipment;
  • Patient loading system, carrying chair, scoop stretcher;
  • Paediatric equipment;
  • Mobile patient isolation.

To expand on that last point, mobile patient isolation systems have grown in popularity, particularly since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, some patients, particularly those who have been infected in another country, wish to return home in order to receive appropriate and, in some cases, higher-quality care. Commercial airlines, on the other hand, will not transport them; however, Medical Repatriation UK will. Nonetheless, because the risk of infection is so high, we use cutting-edge isolation techniques to mitigate the transmission of the virus. In this sense, our private air ambulances will offer transportation to:

  • Confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2;
  • Case contacts with negative SARS-CoV-2 serology.

Such flights can be carried out in a mobile patient isolation unit outfitted with specialized equipment and medical personnel. However, depending on the patient's condition, particularly if he is asymptomatic, and even if he is positive, the latter may be asked to wear an FFP2 mask, and the medical team may be required to wear more sophisticated protective clothing. It should be noted that this is a case-by-case determination.

isolated patient

Why would a British citizen require the services of our private air ambulance?

As previously stated, our ambulance flights serve a variety of purposes. We transport the sick and injured, but our services do not stop there. Let us begin with the transportation of people who are ill or who have a medical condition of any kind.

Did you know that? It is not uncommon for them to be unable to board scheduled flights. Indeed, because they lack the necessary equipment and expertisel the latter frequently refusing to transport patients whose health is unstable, who require special care, or who are prone to complications during the flight.

These medical conditions are as diverse as they are numerous, and they include cardiovascular issues or strokes, breathing difficulties, epileptic seizures, severe pain, cancers, broken limbs, haemorrhage, or any other trauma.  Our armada of cutting-edge medical equipment allows such patients to be transported safely over long distances, with the assurance that any complications will be handled quickly and efficiently by a qualified medical team. But hold on, there's more! Cabin pressure must be adjusted for a variety of reasons, ranging from the more serious, such as pneumothorax, to the more benign, such as anemia. We make this possible by flying at 'so called sea level'.

As you are already aware, we transport you from one health facility to another. However, our services are not limited to this mode of transportation. We also transport elderly people who want to relocate to another region or go on vacation abroad but require special care during the trip. And, if the care is not complicated and you can travel via a scheduled flight, we will provide you with one of our medical escorts.

You have no illnesses and are wondering if we can still transport you? Yes, our services are available to a wide range of clients, no matter where they are and whatever their needs. For example, if you are stranded in a foreign country and are unable to book a flight or flights are suspended altogether due to a pandemic or a political situation, we will transport you. However, it is important to note that in some particular cases our services are dependent on local measures and controls.

ambulance jet

How do our private air ambulances ensure your safe transportation?

As previously mentioned, our cutting-edge medical equipment and isolation devices ensure your safe transportation, limiting the spread of viruses while also allowing our team to treat any in-flight complications.

When it comes to our medical teams, they strictly adhere to valid international standards. Our experts onboard the flight are coordinated with our multilingual physicians in charge of assessing the patient’s fitness to fly, and they liaise with the hospitals and clinics involved at both ends of the transfer to ensure a smooth process. If so desired, your own doctor can accompany you during the flight for moral support. Nonetheless, it should be noted that he will not have an official role. 

Medical Repatriation UK's pilots are all experienced in international air ambulance flight services. Our exceptionally qualified dispatch teams are well-versed in the infrastructure and services of various airports around the world, as well as all aspects of flight planning, such as obtaining landing and overflight permissions. Medical Repatriation UK's extensive experience in all aspects of air ambulance operations enables it to provide professional, efficient, and continuous case management to its clients.

The following are some of the additional safety precautions we take to protect your health:

  • Flying on one of our private jets eliminates potential health risks by avoiding crowded airport terminals and commercial flights;
  • We use cutting-edge disinfection products and technologies inside our aircraft to avoid nosocomial and Coronavirus infections;
  • Because sanitary conditions and safety precautions on board our aircrafts are more important than ever, we have implemented special procedures:
  • Before each flight, all crew members are screened for symptoms and temperature. Crew members will be required to wear masks and gloves as needed;
  • Our standards have been updated to meet the new hygiene and social distancing standards (wherever it is possible), while still providing our clients with the same high-quality service they have come to expect.

How to book our private air ambulance services?

Contacting Medical Repatriation UK is the first and most important step in the booking process. You can do so at any time of day or night. During your initial call, our medical flight experts will assess your needs and recommend the best solution in accordance with your specifications. We will then inform you of the necessary documents we will require, such as passports and visas. You will also receive a non-binding free quote. If you have any questions or concerns about booking one of our private air ambulances, we are happy to call you back at no cost to clear your doubts.

Do you have any additional questions?

In our FAQ, we answer many of the most frequently asked questions about medical repatriation and patient transfers.

Contact us right away for medical repatriation!

Please contact our 24-hour service at any time if you require additional information or a free non-binding quote. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can be reached at:

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