In each mission the medical escort finds himself far from the comfort and safety offered by the cockpit of the air ambulance.
Although the operational office organizes as many things as possible in advance for a patient transfer abroad, the escort always has to be able to call on his/her human, social, individual and professional resources.
Those powers of persuasion in the field are all the more exacerbated in a context of diplomatic tension. Indeed, the medical escort doesn’t only have to deal with the patient but also with his environment.
All the steps involved in a commercial repatriation are already cumbersome in ordinary circumstances. They become even more so when the transfer is to a destination country in conflict with the zone of origin, i.e. RUSSIA.
Under a contract signed with a children’s hospital in Catalogna, the medical escorts of AEROMEDICAL AND MARINE TRI, are in charge of returning terminally ill children back to their country of origin.
In this case, the child was a Russian baby who needed to be brought back home in Russia.
During the whole transfer, the child needed respiratory assistance with oxygen, via the Portable Oxygen Concentrator as well as the aspiration process.
The first issue was to find one escort authorized to cross the Russian border. Fortunately, one member of the team was of Argentinian origin, a country still tolerated by the Russian diplomatic services.
All measures had to be taken with the various diplomatic services to guarantee the safety of the patient, his or her relative and of the medical escort.
Besides, each appropriate form also had to meet the requirements of the Russian consular services.
The second issue was to find a carrier willing and accepted to travel to Russia. And there aren’t many of them.
All Russia’s European neighbors have closed their borders with the country. The only country enabling a flight to Russia was Serbia. But transiting through Serbia considerably lengthened the journey and the wait of the baby. Useless to remind that time was a very precious thing for the young little patient. Our escort had to carry on taking care of the little patient, assisting him with respiratory support during 14 hours.
The third issue was to find a GA willing to accept passengers from Europe. Fortunately, in that case, the family already on site decided to fetch the mother and child directly from the airport to home.
For obvious reasons we mainly think about the patient’s health, security and well-being first. But don’t we forget the safe return of the escort who has been utterly involved in the patient’s safe flight. Going back home was a journey neither pleasant nor easy. Our escort had to make a stopover in Armenia where the local government had prohibited the medication that we were carrying.
But fortunately, the persuasiveness of our escort convinced the authorities to let him have the medicines.
Generally, the operational desk can organize and forecast many details and issues that might occur during an evacuation. But the escort is far away and alone on the ground. Everything relies on his/her resources to get by in any adversary circumstances, but also on his dedication to his/her patient.
When a child’s life is at stake, no matter what diplomatic conflicts overtake us. We, modest citizens of whatever nationality, will do everything for their patient, and in particular for the right to die with dignity, once at home.