AIMS provides medical escorts for repatriation to Madrid, Spain

AIMS provides medical escorts for repatriation to Madrid, Spain

AIMS provided commercial repatriation to a Spanish couple involved in an MVA in Nelspruit.

Alliance International Medical Services received two patients, a male and female couple, both 26 years old, from Madrid, Spain. The couple were vacationing in Nelspruit, South Africa, when they were involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA), where the vehicle experienced a left-side impact.

The female patient suffered from a vertical shear fracture of the pelvis, involving the left iliac fossa and the left superior pubic rami. She also had a minor splenic laceration and some mild intraperitoneal haemorrhage. The male patient was driving the vehicle and he sustained fractures to the transverse processes in his lumbar spine.

AIMS accepted the case, and the operations team immediately went into full activation mode. The operational team arranged for the couple to be transported by ground ambulance to the Netcare hospital in Alberton. On arrival the patients were admitted and assessed. The female patient’s injuries were managed conservatively with no surgical intervention required however, her left leg was placed in traction for the duration of her admission at Netcare Hospital, Alberton. The male patient suffered transverse process fractures in his lumbar spine. He was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture and was treated with a prosthetic spinal brace and pain management.

With two patients, this repatriation necessitated the assistance of two senior paramedics; Lliam Richmond and Glen Orritt. Mr. Richmond, one of the senior flight paramedics, went to Netcare Alberton hospital the evening before the scheduled repatriation date to perform a pre-flight examination. On his arrival he found the female patient lying supine on the hospital bed, with the male patient seated by her side, the male patient had since been discharged and was wearing his prosthetic spinal brace, he stated that he was managing his pain well with his own prescribed medication.

The primary survey on the female patient was unremarkable and she appeared well and in good spirits. On the secondary survey she complained of mild pain on palpation of her abdomen over the left lower quadrant (LLQ), and her left hip with some minor contusions noted. The traction cast was noted on her leg; however traction was not being applied at the time of examination. She stated that she was in little to no pain with or without the traction, and that her pain was adequately controlled with oral medication.

During his assessment of the patients, Mr. Richmond briefed them on the process and events that would occur during their journey home. Due to the female patient’s inability to move, it was agreed that a urinary catheter would be inserted for the duration of the flight. In addition, it was requested that the doctor administers Imodium to induce constipation before the flight.

Repatriation Day and transport to flight

On the day of the repatriation the medical escorts were collected from the AIMS offices in Bryanston, Johannesburg and transported by the AIMS driver to Netcare Alberton Hospital. When they arrived, the female patient was found to be in good spirits and eager to return home. The urine catheter had been inserted and was passively draining without causing any discomfort or irritation. Because of the inability to maintain traction throughout the flight, the traction splint was removed.

Once all preparations were complete, and all documentation and prescribed medication had been received the mission commenced. The male patient was easily escorted to the ambulance because he was mobile. However, the female patient was moved by stretcher, and the medical escorts and patients proceeded to the ambulance, which was then transported to OR Tambo International Airport.

On arrival at the airport the medical escorts and the patients proceeded directly to the airport clinic. They were met by an Air France official who would be assisting them with check-in and passport control procedures. The female patient was then moved to an airport ambulance stretcher where she could get some rest in the airport clinic prior to boarding the flight to Paris, France. The medical escorts stayed with her to monitor her pre-flight. Due to the male patient and his mobility, he was asked to proceed through security and to the boarding gate with help from an airport official.

The medical escorts and the patient were then transported by ambulance to the aircraft on the tarmac, where she was assisted to the level of the aircraft using a high lift. She was then moved across to the aircraft by a scoop stretcher to the onboard stretcher. After settling in for the long haul an assessment was done and Mr. Richmond then accompanied her for the duration of the flight as a medical escort. The female patient informed him that she was in moderate pain to which he administered some pain management relief.

The male patient then went to find his seat in business class and was accompanied by Mr. Orritt the second medical escort. Mr Orritt then assessed him, and the patient stated that he was managing his pain well with his own prescribed medication.

Medical assisted hand-over at Charles De Gaulle International Airport

In flight the male patient visited his partner to check in and was still mobilising fine. Once it was time to get some rest after a light dinner it was apparent that the female patient was struggling to get some rest and an assessment took place. She reported some mild persistent pain and was administered an anti-inflammatory. She was then able to get a considerable amount of sleep for the remaining duration of the flight.

When the plane touched down in Paris, the female patient was transferred from the onboard stretcher and onto the HighLift which carried her and the team down to the ambulance. Following that, the local ambulance service assisted the patients and medical escorts to the terminal building and transported them to the airport clinic.

After arriving at the airport clinic at Charles De Gaulle International Airport, the patients with all relevant documentation were handed over to the assisting doctor and nurse who would continue their journey to Madrid, Spain.

The AIMS Medical escorts then said their goodbyes and wished them well on their onward journey. The patients then expressed their upmost gratitude for all the hard work and dedication that both, the medical escorts and the AIMS team had done for them.

Later that evening, the medical escorts boarded their return flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, and the mission was completed, marking yet another success for the AIMS Team.

Other Articles