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Commercial Air Medical Escorts

When a patient is in need of air medical transportation, they must receive the same level of care regardless of the method of transport.  We know the cost of an air ambulance can be overwhelming, but depending on the circumstance, may not be necessary.  Our commercial medical escort services are cost effective and available worldwide.  They are ideal for patients who are not comfortable with the rigors of standard commercial airline travel, but still need medical assistance.

International Life Flight’s medical staff will accompany the patient in First Class, where they have more personal space and the ability to semi-recline.  Family members may be allowed to travel with the patient depending on the situation.  Our Flight Coordinators will arrange every detail of the transport from bedside to bedside.  Some of these services include:

  • All ground transportation
  • Booking and ticketing for patients and relatives
  • Priority boarding, seating, and deplaning
  • Coordinating with sending and receiving facilities
  • Live flight tracking and updating family members
  • Obtaining necessary airline medical clearance and in-flight equipment

International Life Flight’s medical staff has advanced life support capabilities at their fingertips during flights.  Some of these services include:

  • Monitoring oxygen levels and cardiac rhythm
  • Administering medications as needed
  • Performing non-invasive blood pressure monitoring
  • Accessibility to airway management equipment and comfort items

International Life Flight is America’s leading air medical transportation service and we are dedicated to arranging every aspect of your national or international air medical needs.  Flight Coordinators are on duty 24/7 to dispatch your flight worldwide.  Contact one of our Flight Coordinators at 1 (425) 320-6667 or by email at info@ilifeflight.com, and let us take care of the rest.

 

Posted in Blog on October 28th, 2013 · Comments Off on Commercial Air Medical Escorts

Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

The short answer is yes. Since 2010, only 29% of travelers had travel insurance when they were struck by natural disasters or world events overseas. While travel insurance is still seen by many as a frivolous extra that’s strictly for the paranoid, the fact is travel insurance can save a lot of money, chaos and suffering in a foreign emergency.

For example, in the event that ambulance medical flights are required when you’re out of country, travel insurance could save you a fortune in flight fees. An aero-medical flight service after a heart attack or life-threatening illness while abroad could cost $20,000 to $100,000 depending on how remote the area is. Paying a little bit of money for insurance before your trip could ultimately save- in addition to your life- years of debt. (Buy the insurance policy as soon as possible after your initial trip payment to ensure preexisting health conditions are covered.)

Travel insurance also assists in all types of reimbursements: for cancelled trips, in situations where you must come home early due to illness or injury, events when the U.S. State Department deems a country unsafe, or if you find yourself laid off unexpectedly. There’s even a (very costly) “cancel for any reason” policy that some experienced travelers find helpful.

There are three main types of insurance protection:

Major Credit Cards – often cover baggage loss, rental car damage, and accidental death or dismemberment (American Express also covers evacuations requiring ambulance medical flights under certain conditions)

Annual Travel Policies – these cover emergency medical treatment and/or aeromedical flight evacuation for a full year (good for frequent travelers and for covering gaps in existing medical policies)

Package Policies – purchased for each trip, these cover medical services, aeromedical flights/emergency evacuations, trip cancellation or disruption, and financial default by your trip provider

Another often-overlooked resource for reducing the cost of foreign medical evacuations is the air ambulance company itself. International Life Flight offers comprehensive air ambulance membership plans that shield your family from high medflight service costs while traveling. Instead of being flown to the nearest medical facility- the extent of what most insurance providers cover- an iLife aeromedical flight plane and crew can get members directly to their choice of treatment center, no matter how far away. Call (425) 320-6667 or contact us online to find out why iLife’s air ambulance membership plans, expert staff, and unparalleled medflight services have made us North America’s #1 rated air ambulance company.

Posted in Blog on May 30th, 2013 · Comments Off on Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

How to Charter an Air Ambulance Flight

Air ambulances function in the same capacity as ground ambulances, with distance being the key difference between the two: longer trips require the speedy transport capabilities offered by air ambulance aircraft. When a medical flight is required, it is necessary to plan ahead and charter a flight through a professional medflight company. This can seem like a daunting task when you’re already faced with a critical illness or injury, but proper planning is essential to ensure you or a loved one obtains appropriate emergency transport services in a timely and organized manner.

The most efficient way to arrange a flight for medical transportation is to directly contact a professional, certified air ambulance company that is available 24/7. When speaking with a flight coordinator, they will most likely request the following details:

– Age, sex and condition of the patient

– A copy of their latest medical report

– Number of escorts that will be required to accompany the patient

– Name and telephone number of the treating doctor

– Insurance information

 

Once you receive a quote for the flight’s cost, the flight coordinator and other employees will begin organizing your specific flight, medical staff, equipment, and any necessary ground transportation. This is typically a fairly quick process, and flights can leave in as little as 12 hours after the initial phone call.

Some questions you may want to ask the flight coordinator:

Can relatives ride with your loved one?

For family, medical ambulance flights can be a nerve-racking proposition; however, most air ambulances allow at least one person to ride along with the patient since it relieves your stress and that of the patient’s.

How will the patient’s health be monitored?

A medically trained professional should be with your loved one for every step of their transfer. From one hospital bed to another, and throughout the entire flight, a qualified flight nurse or other medical personnel that is certified for air transportation should be tending to the patient.

What type of air ambulance aircraft will be used?

You want the fastest flight possible, so make sure to ask about the jet being used and whether any stops will be made along the way. The best companies use the most reliable air ambulances, so it’s wise to do your research.

International LIfe Flight provides round-the-clock service to determine your specific air ambulance aircraft chartering needs quickly and accurately. Our Flight Coordinators happily work with you to organize every last detail, from insurance to ground transportation to extra passengers. Call International Life Flight at (425) 320-6667 or visit us online to learn more about our state-of-the-art air ambulances, expert medical staff, and bedside-to-bedside services.

Posted in Blog on May 23rd, 2013 · Comments Off on How to Charter an Air Ambulance Flight

Choosing Patient Transport

The fast, expert services provided on medical air flights are often the key to a patient’s prompt and successful treatment. Now more than ever, there’s a long and varying list of situations where your need for medical transportation flights might arise: from overseas travel that requires the use of international air ambulance services, to critical care patient relocation, the need for med-flights is becoming increasingly common. When it comes time for you to choose the best patient transport for yourself or a loved one, there’s a lot to consider:

      Staff

Since caring for patients is different in the air than it is on the ground, the medical staff aboard your air ambulance should be properly trained and qualified specifically for medical transportation flights. iLifeFlight’s paramedics and flight nurses are air certified, board certified, and have a minimum of five years’ experience in emergency medicine.

      Safety

Look for a company whose aircraft all have proper FAA certification and are expertly maintained. At iLifeFlight, all of our aircraft are FAA registered and adhere to strict and ongoing FAA compliance.

      Equipment

You will require continuous and meticulous medical treatment during your medical air flight, so it’s crucial that your plane is properly equipped. All of iLife’s aircraft are set up to function like an intensive care unit and are equipped with state-of-the-art tools, monitors, medications, and more to effectively treat and stabilize all patients.

      Response Time

The nature of medical transportation flights is often time-sensitive, and, as such, requires an efficient and reliable service. The combination of iLifeFlight’s speedy aircraft, thorough flight coordination, and clear communication has made us one of the fastest and most dependable medical transportation companies in the country.

At iLifeFlight we know you have a lot to think about when it comes to choosing medical transportation. That’s why we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions about this complicated and often emotional decision. As a leading provider of both local and international air ambulance services, we can help you sort through all the complex details so you can make an informed and confident decision. Call (425) 320-6667 or visit us online to learn how we can help.

 

Posted in Blog on May 16th, 2013 · Comments Off on Choosing Patient Transport

Relocating a Patient with Alzheimer’s Disease

Relocating a loved one who has Alzheimer’s is a challenging undertaking that must be met with compassion, patience, and understanding. It’s best to consult with the patient’s doctor first to ensure they have not reached the point in Alzheimer’s disease where travel will cause excess stress or emotional trauma. If the doctor confirms that they are safe and fit for relocating, there are still many other things to consider as you plan your journey. Whether it’s a family trip to a familiar destination or a transfer on a medical air flight, there are measures you can take to plan a safe and comfortable trip for everyone involved.

The most important thing is to keep it simple, as a person with Alzheimer’s may overwhelm or agitate easily. If you’re riding in a car try to take frequent breaks, and if you’re flying with a major airline you can streamline the process with special boarding passes for your family. Another option is a commercial medical escort service that can assist your loved one during the flight. An escort is an excellent alternative for people with Alzheimer’s whose families may not be able to afford private medical transportation. At iLifeFlight, we offer trained medical escorts who can administer medications and provide emergency aid to patients on commercial airliners. Patients must first be approved for these escort services.

If the person with Alzheimer’s absolutely cannot travel on a commercial airliner, consider a private medical airlift company. iLifeFlight is proud to offer comfortable Elder Relocation Flights that allow elderly patients to skip the stress of crowded airports and planes entirely. Our flight coordinators can arrange to meet the specific needs of persons with Alzheimer’s and provide your loved one with the appropriate ground transportation, medical team, and flight nurse. Private medical transportation also offers the entire family the peace of mind of knowing their elderly relative is safe in the hands of trained and caring professionals.

To find out if your loved one qualifies for our commercial medical escort services, or to learn more about our elderly med-flight options, call iLifeFlight at (425) 320-6667 or contact us online.

 

Posted in Blog on May 9th, 2013 · Comments Off on Relocating a Patient with Alzheimer’s Disease

Body Changes at High Altitudes

Medical flight teams have to be prepared for a wide array of possibilities and variables when gearing up for air ambulance flights. Air medical transportation presents a specific set of critical care circumstances that require special precautions, planning, and equipment. Charged with the delicate and time-sensitive task of safely delivering a patient to their treatment destination, the medical team and flight nurse already face a challenging mission. But the body changes that occur at high altitudes add another complicated layer to medical flight services- one that an aero-medical company must always be prepared for.

While air ambulances generally don’t reach the extreme heights of a commercial airplane, the body still behaves differently than it would if traveling by ground. The rapid speed combined with the reduced oxygen that occurs at higher altitudes leads to unique body changes that all medical teams must be ready to face. When sudden changes in pressure occur, a patient on an air ambulance flight could experience ear pain, gastrointestinal discomfort including nausea and vomiting, and even toothaches (tiny pockets of air can get trapped in deep fillings and cause sharp pain). Rapid altitude changes can even cause joint pain not unlike what a scuba diver experiences when surfacing too quickly. Some other reactions to altitude that patients may experience while on a medical aircraft are dehydration, swelling of limbs, and headaches.

The good news is these medflight-specific body changes are easily handled by iLife’s skilled medical teams. Our professional staff is competent, experienced, and expertly trained in every vital aspect of air medical transportation. Our flight nurses and paramedics have at least three years of prior critical care experience, and must undergo rigorous orientation and continued emergency training. Further, our comfortable and pressurized air ambulances are set up to perform like intensive care units: each one is fully equipped with the most advanced compressors, monitors, defibrillators, and emergency medications to treat and stabilize every possible body change. To learn more about our aero-medical company’s trusted staff and services, contact us online or call (425) 320-6667.

 

Posted in Blog on May 2nd, 2013 · Comments Off on Body Changes at High Altitudes

How to Choose the Best Air Ambulance Company

There are many intricate details to consider when selecting a company for air medical services. From insurance options and payment methods to staff qualifications and aircraft maintenance, choosing the company you’re most comfortable with depends on a lot of separate factors. Whether you want the #1 rated air ambulance company or simply the one that makes you feel most at ease, the following qualifications should always be met:

  1. Aircrafts are well maintained, and licensed by the FAA
  2. Staff is professionally trained in critical care during air ambulance flights
  3. Flight coordinators are always available to help with flight organization and details
  4. Staff is well-versed in insurance-related matters
  5. Company is globally and/or locally recognized for excellence
  6. A wide variety of state-of-the-art medical equipment is provided on the aircraft
  7. Staff is flexible, friendly, patient, and knowledgeable

Another optional feature in providing first-rate air medical services is a membership plan. These are designed to reduce costs and increase options in the event of a medical evacuation. Often, insurance companies will only pay for your travel to the closest appropriate facility- which may not be near your home. At iLife Flight, our plan allows members to choose their treatment location no matter how far it is from the emergency’s location.

In addition to the above criteria, any reputable air ambulance flight company will be able to provide you with evidence of all licenses and certificates. Essentially, if you have any doubts or concerns, your chosen air ambulance service provider should be able to put your mind at ease with evidence of professional certification.

At iLife, we don’t just meet these expectations- we exceed them. Our Flight Coordinators are available 24/7 to answer questions about our company and all of its policies- including insurance; our fleet and equipment are all of the highest excellence; our expert staff is air certified, board certified, and highly trained in air medical services; and we are widely considered by peers and medical professionals to be among the best air medical services in the country. Contact us online or call (800) 538-9875 to find out more about the world-class air ambulance services provided by iLife.

Posted in Blog on April 26th, 2013 · Comments Off on How to Choose the Best Air Ambulance Company

Air Ambulance vs Commercial Flight: What’s the Difference?

You may not know that flying with a medical escort on a commercial aircraft is a completely different experience than traveling with medical airlift companies. That’s okay- most people don’t. Each form of transport has distinguishing characteristics, and understanding the differences between commercial transportation and professional medical transportation can help you or a loved one make the important decision when the time comes.

Medflight air ambulances are either helicopters or airplanes; here, we will discuss airplanes. An air ambulance plane is a fixed-wing aircraft that is uniquely designed for the sole purpose of transporting patients. Because of this, they look quite different from commercial aircrafts on the inside. Instead of long rows of seats, planes designed for medical transportation contain space for a stretcher, ventilator and IV pump, life support system, defibrillators, ECGs, a variety of emergency medications, and all the tools necessary for properly charting and tracking a patient’s status. They can also be equipped with specialized tools such as dysrhythmia monitors and fetal heart monitors.

But the differences between a commercial flight and a medflight go beyond medical equipment:

  • Crew: Air ambulances don’t have flight attendants, but they do have a professionally trained medical team whose singular focus is your safety and care during your medical flight.
  • Passengers: Medical transportation aircrafts are much smaller than commercial planes, and, after the pilots, medical crew, flight nurse, and patient are on-board, can typically only accommodate one or two other persons. One exception is the heavy duty jet, Gulf Stream.
  • Carry-on Luggage: Space is limited on medflight aircrafts, often with room for just one standard-sized carry-on. Extra items should be shipped separately.
  • Washroom: Generally, an air ambulance doesn’t have facilities. If you’re accompanying a patient on a medflight, it’s a good idea to use a restroom before boarding.
  • Cost: An air ambulance flight typically costs more than medical escort service on a commercial plane- and for good reasons: first, a private air ambulance is yours alone so the cost isn’t being shared with other passengers; second, your medical aircraft is fully equipped with more specialized (and expensive) tools than an escort could carry on a commercial plane.

Here at iLife Flight, we are take pride in being a leader among Arizona’s medical airlift companies. We can help you arrange for the shipment of extra luggage, determine the necessary medical equipment, and organize the appropriate medical team and flight nurses for your critical care needs. Our Flight Coordinators can also help determine the cost of your medical transportation, and whether insurance can help alleviate some of those costs. We’re here to answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so please call us at (800) 538-9875 or contact us online.

 

Posted in Blog on April 18th, 2013 · Comments Off on Air Ambulance vs Commercial Flight: What’s the Difference?

Behind the Scenes of an Air Medical Transport

Patient pick-up and delivery is certainly the most visible aspect of air medical transportation, but it is really just one piece of a larger emergency transport picture.  The fact is, there are many elements and stages involved in every air ambulance journey, and all require meticulous coordination: from ground ambulances to patient discharge and timely organ procurement, every critical detail must be managed with unwavering precision by medical airlift companies. Here at iLife, there are several crucial stages of behind-the-scenes preparation that must take place for any air ambulance flight to safely succeed.

Stage 1: Organizing information. After we’ve decided to move forward with a medical flight, details like patient medical history, recent test results, and current medical information must be reviewed. Critical Care patients, persons on Basic Life Support, and the elderly all have very different needs, and this information must be documented accurately to determine a host of variables. Our Flight Coordinators carefully sort through all such patient information, as well as insurance paperwork, and case worker issues where necessary.

Stage 2: Choosing the right tools and team. Based on the information collected by our Flight Coordinators, we determine the appropriate aircraft, medical personnel, and equipment for your air ambulance flight. Our trained team includes a registered nurse, respiratory therapist, physician, and more to provide you with expert, specific care during your air medical transportation. And our vast supply of equipment includes ventilators, CPR tools, ECGs, cardiac defibrillators, and dysrhythmia monitoring units to ensure every patient’s needs are met accurately.

Stage 3: Maintaining constant communication. Once the patient and air ambulance crew are en route, iLife’s ground team stays in touch with them for the flight’s duration. This constant flow of information allows us to make last-minute changes, organize or alter ground transportation, alert staff at the destination of any concerns, or provide a different course of medical treatment, to name a few.

That’s because we at iLife strive to be prepared for every possible unknown. Our strong, certified medical team and 40,000 completed mission flights have give us the capability to effectively handle the unexpected. And while we can never know exactly what will happen during every air ambulance flight, we come mentally, physically, and technically prepared for a variety of possible circumstances. We provide reliable, comfortable medical flights throughout the United States, as well as international air ambulance service in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Every complex detail of each flight is expertly handled by a professional Flight Coordinators to provide you with safe, stress-free air medical transportation. Please call us at (800) 538-9875 and we’ll gladly answer questions about any aspect of our professional air ambulance services, or contact us online to learn more.

Posted in Blog on April 8th, 2013 · Comments Off on Behind the Scenes of an Air Medical Transport

Does Insurance Cover Air Ambulance Transport?

When the need for a medical air ambulance arises the last thing you want to worry about is how you will pay for it. In that moment, the emergency medical treatment necessary for yourself or a loved one is the only thing that matters. The reality, however, is that costs relating to medflight services will need to be settled, so it’s important to understand how insurance factors into the medevac equation.

How Much Does Air Ambulance Transport Cost?

Air ambulances are technologically advanced, fully equipped, professionally staffed emergency vehicles that require strict attention and maintenance in order to function flawlessly. As such, costs relating to fuel, aircraft type, and number of flight nurses and other medical personnel on board all factor into cost. Without insurance, and depending on the air ambulance company, a medflight within the USA could cost anywhere from the low thousands to tens of thousands; international flight costs can get as high as a few hundred thousand dollars. Depending on the insurance company’s policy, coverage could take care of nearly the entire bill.

What Can I Do Now?

Check with your insurance provider to find out their specific policies on the use of medical air ambulances. Consider purchasing additional coverage if restrictions are too rigid, especially if you travel frequently or plan to travel in the future. A Health Savings Account can also help reduce medflight costs.

At iLife Flight, we can assist you in all insurance-related areas of air ambulance transport. From determining the specific costs of your medical air ambulance flight to obtaining payment from your insurance company, our flight coordinators understand how insurance companies operate and will work out every detail. At iLife Flight we are committed to providing cost-effective, high quality customer care and can answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days week. Call (800) 538-9875 to receive a no-obligation cost estimate, or contact us online to learn more about our expert medflight services.

Posted in Blog on March 21st, 2013 · Comments Off on Does Insurance Cover Air Ambulance Transport?