EMS Ambulance 22 Feb 2023
The top 6 questions about Medical Escorts
The top 6 questions about Medical Escorts
If you’re familiar with EMS, you probably know we offer three main types of medical transport:
Most people are familiar with the first two concepts. But Medical Escort? That sometimes causes confusion – as a quick google demonstrates…
So… what exactly is this service, and who is it for? Here are six (hopefully non-confusing) answers!
What does Medical Escort mean?
In basic terms, it means a person who travels alongside a patient with non-emergency medical needs, to provide help during the journey and intervention should they need it. The key difference with an Air or Road Ambulance is that it takes place on a commercial airline. So you’d be travelling with other passengers on a regular flight, but with an experienced helper to support you.
Why would we use one?
The most common reason is that airlines simply won’t allow patients with certain illnesses – a heart or lung condition, for example – to fly without one. And the hospital doctors may well take the same view: they may judge that your patient is fit to fly, but only if they are flying with medical assistance. Using a Medical Escort isn’t always about necessity, though. They are also there to help with key tasks during the journey (see below). And they provide peace of mind: you know someone is looking after your patient and can step in to provide treatment if needed.
Are they medically qualified?
Absolutely. A Medical Escort will be, at minimum, a registered nurse who has received specialist training in air transports. But they could also be a paramedic, a doctor or GP, or someone with a particular specialism, such as cardiology or paediatrics (children with illnesses, in particular, have very specific needs for air travel). They could even be a team of medics. With EMS, you can choose the type of Escort, or team of Escorts, that suits your patient best.
Are they just for the plane?
No – they’ll usually be there for the whole journey. EMS is a bed-to-bed repatriation company, which means our Medical Escorts can literally go from collection bed to destination bed. They can travel with you on the ground transports to and from the airports, through the passport and luggage check-ins, and of course on the flight itself. This gives your patient continuity and reassurance for the whole trip.
What else will they do?
Most importantly, the Medical Escort is there to look after your patient’s medical needs. That could mean helping them with a portable oxygen supply, IV drip, pain relief and their regular medication and; if an emergency were to happen, they could step in to provide treatment. But they can also help with things like toilet breaks, meals and wheelchair access. Finally, they’ll help with your patient’s seating area on the flight. If First Class or Business is available, they can adjust the seating so your patient can lie down comfortably while the plane is in the air. If your patient isn’t able to sit up during take-off and landing, they can create a stretcher bed across a row of seats.
How much does a Medical Escort cost?
It depends on your patient’s needs and where they need to go (you can get a quick costing for the trip by filling in our 4-step online form – we’ll send you an estimate within 30 minutes). But one advantage of Medical Escorts is that they’re less expensive than other types of repatriation – cheaper than an Air Ambulance (which is a privately chartered jet) and sometimes cheaper than a long-distance road ambulance. We prefer to use Business or First Class for Medical Escorts, but it’s possible to travel Economy too.
Interested in reading more about Medical Escorts? You may find these articles helpful…
The complete guide to Medical Escorts
How does wheelchair access work on a medical repatriation?
How do toilet and bathroom breaks work on an air or road ambulance?
Need to talk? We’re here to help. Just get in touch with our friendly experts by phone, email or WhatsApp. Head to our Contact page for the details. You can also get a free, no-obligation cost estimate for your repatriation with our online pricing calculator.