During the summer holidays, many Brits venture abroad in search of heat and sunshine in warmer climes. But it’s worth considering health risks before you travel, to make sure your dream holiday doesn’t turn into a medical emergency. For instance, repatriation from the United Kingdom and repatriation from South Africa. To avoid problems and worst-case, a medical repatriation, here are some useful tips.
We all love feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin, but it’s important to protect yourself, and especially children, from the harmful effects of UV rays. The most common dangers of overexposure include sunburn, sunstroke and skin damage – it can even lead to skin cancer. Many dermatologists advise avoiding the sun altogether and staying in the shade, but if you want to be in the sun, sunscreen and UV protective clothing can make a difference. Although you might not achieve the tan you expected, think about the long term benefits. We recommend applying and reapplying sunscreen regularly as well as wearing a hat or other UV protective items and limiting your time in the midday heat.
Holidays are a time for rest and relaxation – for many this includes a glass of wine or a cocktail. But be mindful of your alcohol intake as both alcohol and exposure to high temperatures can cause dehydration. This in turn can lead to dizziness, fatigue and fainting, which might well result in injury. Even when enjoying small quantities of alcohol, we would recommend drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoiding strenuous physical activity – especially in the midday heat. N.B. many insurance companies will not cover injuries that occur as a result of excessive drinking. It’s worth checking your policy before you travel.
Figures suggest that 25% of Brits still travel without travel insurance. This number goes up to 40% among young people. It’s true that UK travellers in Europe are currently still covered by the EHIC scheme which entitles them to emergency medical care in EU countries either free of charge or at a reduced cost. Although BREXIT might mean this is no longer valid for British citizens after October. Regardless, the EHIC card does not cover medical repatriation, nor do all travel insurers. It’s therefore advisable to check your policy first to see what is included and what isn’t. Unlike many repatriation services, EMS do not solely work with insurance companies and will try to repatriate even if you’re not insured.
Even with the best preparation, unexpected things can still happen. If you do find yourself abroad in a medical emergency and want to go home as soon as possible, EMS are here to help. Our medical repatriation services vary depending on your situation. We offer repatriation by road or air ambulance, or on a commercial flight with a medical escort. We will carry out an independent assessment of the patient’s condition, and determine the safest way to bring them home. From there we will take care of all the details involved, liaising with hospitals on both sides. We will send the right specialists as well as all medication and medical equipment required, so that treatment does not have to be interrupted. We offer a bed to bed service, and won’t leave the patient unless we’re satisfied a successful handover has taken place.
Although it may seem unlikely, if you do find yourself in a medical emergency abroad, please do not hesitate to contact us – even if it’s just to chat through options. You can also request a free quote to get an idea of what’s involved.