Why medical repatriation: Patients recover quicker at home Why medical repatriation: Patients recover quicker at home

EMS Ambulance 16 Nov 2018


When you or someone you love fall in abroad, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and hard to know what to do. Of course, you want to go home as soon as possible, but the decision to engage a medical repatriation service (a company who specialises in international patient transport) can seem daunting too.

It’s widely recognised that surroundings can have a profound impact on patient recovery. This is even reflected in hospital design, and particularly in children’s wards, which are deliberately given a ‘home from home’ feel. When it is medically safe, there are many advantages to recovering at home, or in familiar surroundings.


What are the main benefits of recovering at home?

In the UK, it’s claimed that people can deteriorate if they stay in hospital too long. The NHS recently published an article citing three main benefits of recovering at home:

  • Rest – it’s difficult to rest well in hospitals, which are noisy, busy places. Good sleep and rest are vital to recovery as they allow the body to restore itself. It is beneficial to be in a place that enables you to rest better. Even though a hospital in your home country might still be busy and noisy, there will not be the added stress of finding yourself in a foreign culture.
  • Infection – the longer you’re in hospital, the higher the risk of getting an infection. Your resistance will be lower, and this makes it easier to pick up bacteria or fungal infections. This can be particularly pertinent when you are in a country where health and safety standards are lower than in hospitals in your home country.
  • Mental wellbeing – being in an environment you recognise, being treated by doctors who speak the same language, eating familiar food and receiving visits from family and friends can all aid mental wellbeing, and in turn aid recovery.

Therefore, it can be best to get patients home as quickly as their condition allows. For us at EMS, it is not unknown to see patients improve on the journey. Even the promise of home can be very powerful.


How can I get home?

At EMS we specialise in getting patients home quickly and safely from overseas. We use medically-equipped road ambulances and air ambulances with a qualified medical team, so your recovery can continue on the journey home. We can also provide medical escorts for commercial flights.

An air ambulance is the fastest way to transport a patient safely back to their own country. Operated by a team of pilots working in shifts, our air ambulances are fully equipped with everything necessary to care for the patient during the journey, including ICU-level equipment and ventilators. We can deploy a fixed-wing aircraft that offers more space for medical staff to work, as well as a medical helicopter to reach difficult landing spots.

Of course, it may not always be possible for a patient to go home straight away, but our medical staff will provide a detailed medical diagnosis in person, assess the patient’s condition and devise the best medical repatriation plan to speed their recovery. We will handle communication with the home hospital to ensure the details of the patient’s condition are passed on accurately, and to make sure that there is a bed waiting for them.

Call our 24-hour emergency line to discuss your situation and find out how we can help to get you home quickly and safely.