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How to Book Travel for Medical Emergency

How to Book Travel for Medical Emergency

Old Apr 8, 22, 9:49 am
  #1  
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How to Book Travel for Medical Emergency

Hello all. I am currently on a trip with my wife in the Finnish Lapland (Rovaniemi). My wife and I were tobogganing in Saariselka and she ended up seriously injuring her knee. We spend the past 24 hours at the ER in Rovaniemi and the doctors are fairly certain she is going to need surgery. Her Patella will not stay in place and dislocates any time she moves her leg. However, they are unable to do any surgery or even any imaging on her knee (other than an Xray) due to significant swelling in her knee. Their recommendation was that we book her a flight back to the United States immediately and get her to a hospital as soon as we get home.

The doctor provided us a document on hospital letterhead saying she needs to fly with her leg elevated (as she cannot bend her knee it is in a cast right now straight) and that she will need wheelchair assistance getting through the airport. Our original plan was to spend a week in Finland followed by a week in London after for work. So this is not going to happen and right now our return flights are April 17 from Heathrow.

At this point I am not sure where to start in getting our new return flight booked. How does one go about booking a flight that requires significant medical accommodations. Does anyone have any recommendations.
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Old Apr 8, 22, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by kbooks66 View Post
Hello all. I am currently on a trip with my wife in the Finnish Lapland (Rovaniemi). My wife and I were tobogganing in Saariselka and she ended up seriously injuring her knee. We spend the past 24 hours at the ER in Rovaniemi and the doctors are fairly certain she is going to need surgery. Her Patella will not stay in place and dislocates any time she moves her leg. However, they are unable to do any surgery or even any imaging on her knee (other than an Xray) due to significant swelling in her knee. Their recommendation was that we book her a flight back to the United States immediately and get her to a hospital as soon as we get home.

The doctor provided us a document on hospital letterhead saying she needs to fly with her leg elevated (as she cannot bend her knee it is in a cast right now straight) and that she will need wheelchair assistance getting through the airport. Our original plan was to spend a week in Finland followed by a week in London after for work. So this is not going to happen and right now our return flights are April 17 from Heathrow.

At this point I am not sure where to start in getting our new return flight booked. How does one go about booking a flight that requires significant medical accommodations. Does anyone have any recommendations.
What does your travel insurance say about this?
Have you contacted the airline/airlines you have tickets with? They may be able to help. Some one in the airlines will know what's needs to be done
The recommendation "she needs to fly with her leg elevated" will not be easy or cheap.

All the best for Mrs kbooks66. Will be a hard few days/week.

Edit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_evacuation
https://www.medical-air-service.com
https://www.globalrescue.com/
https://www.aspenmedical.com/health-...cal-evacuation
https://www.aspenmedical.com/global-offices/#HO
https://medjetassist.com/

Edit 2
An old FT thread-->Emergency Evacuation Insurance from Chase Credit Cards

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Apr 8, 22 at 11:57 pm
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Old Apr 8, 22, 11:29 pm
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Definitely check your insurance and travel insurance (if you have it).

My mother in-law broke her hip in St. Petersburg about a decade ago. Longer story about why but we needed her transported to Belgium for surgery. We had actually gotten her primary health insurance to approve medical transport at the 24 hour mark during weekend off hours us time, but then the company they source it to (Allianz?) was dragging their feet/could not find an air ambulance and things were getting more critical. The clinic in Russia recommended an air ambulance based in Helsinki who had all the pre-clearances to land in LED and transfer her (they used them regularly and could not understand what Allianz problem was - probably trying to find a lower cost). It was just a few hours from the time we gave the Helsinki company our credit cards to getting her loaded on the plane.

Now not necessarily recommending this path - we fronted about 22k euros (hence cards above) but did eventually get that paid back by primary US health insurance. Main point is to be working your insurance asap and pushing as they will cover the cost of transfer if really needed. And they do have process/procedure to take care of the needed medical accommodations - whether private or commercial - as they source specific firms to arrange all that.

In our case the clinic provided a similar statement that they could not perform the required surgery in Russia so transport was necessary and that due to her condition it needed to happen asap. Only thing I might see coming from insurance is why she needs to be transferred back to US vs. another major European city. I would think travel insurance is less likely to ask the why on destination if their conditions are met.
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Old Apr 9, 22, 12:27 pm
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Some (IME European) carriers permit stable patient to travel on stretchers surrounded by curtains. A professional medical attendant might be needed and arrangements can be made for am ambulance to deliver the patient on the tarmac. This would require purchase of about six coach seats, but might be cheaper than an emergency medical evacuation charter flight. I've observed this on flights, although not recently. It could be worth checking if insurance won't pay for an emergency medical evacuation service.
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