Commercial Airline Stretcher Services in Singapore.
Traveling for reason of advanced medical treatment is very common in today's global scenario. Traveling for a medical condition is itself not a very happy situation especially if the patient is suffering from a critical ailment and this involves lots of formalities related to documentation based on the regulation of the individual country.
What is a Commercial Airline stretcher service?
It is possible to transport patients those who qualify, and are stable enough to fly, by utilizing the commercial stretcher service whereby the patient remains in a reclined position, and they are accompanied by qualified medical staff. Family or companions are allowed to fly along with the patient and can be by their side.
Singapore is a commercial hub and has world-class hospitals and facilities for patients are the best and ranks equivalent to the highly developed countries of the world. A patient from India who was suffering from a lung disorder, decided to travel to Singapore with her husband with a hope to get better medical treatment. The family members were clueless about how to travel with a patient who was suffering from a chronic illness.
Going through the Singapore Air travel guidelines, they came to know that there are many regulations for flying patients for example:
1. Medication: If a person has a medical condition, one has to consult their physician and get a fitness certificate issued to travel. Some conditions may also require the person to get medical clearance before he/she can fly.
2. One should get issued a physician's prescription for carrying medicines.
3. Medical clearance has to be done while flying the patient in case the person needs special attention or if the patient is stretcher bound or requires supplementary oxygen tank. Asha was suffering from lung disorder, and carrying an oxygen cylinder was a must for her. Additional medical review is also required on a case-to-case basis and as per the rules of the commercial flier. All this requires a lot of documentation which needs to be submitted to the airline service provider at least a week in advance before one plans their travel
4. These rules are laid down for the safety of the patient and general medical conditions don't stop anyone from flying, but commercial airlines implement strict regulations before flying as the cabin pressure can reach the atmospheric pressure at a higher altitude of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. The person requires to take prior approval for personal medical equipment like an electrical and electronic medical equipment to be used on board from the airline authorities to ensure that the equipment does not interfere with the aircraft communication and navigation systems.
5. In case the patient requires the assistance of self-powered medical devices, there are limitations to carry them on board, except for the medical devices like heart pacemakers, portable hearing aids, nebulizers, Portable oxygen concentrators, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines. However, these machines have to be operated by the patient or the companion as the cabin crew mostly do not provide any assistance for the same. Also, the patient should get the devices sufficiently charged at least two times more than the time required to travel before traveling as in-flight power supply may not be available. POC devices and CPAP machines are allowed on the flight, but there are particular specification and model which can be carried on flight.
Portable oxygen cylinder must be placed in the space beneath the seat in front of the passenger. In the flights, Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) models can be used on board. If the patient requires to use these machines on the flight, the device size must fit under the seat in front of the patient's seat. In case the device is unable to fit under the seat, the patient may not be allowed to use it during the flight and it will be stored in the overhead baggage compartment.
There are restrictions applied to the machines which are powered by lithium batteries to ensure the safety of other traveler's. Also, the traveler's have to ensure that all the documents related to the travel have been cleared by the authorities and to be in continues touch with the medical team of the commercial flier.
Stretcher services by the commercial fliers are available for an extra fee on select flights and in an Economy class. Some seats may need to be blocked in case the patient requires Supplementary oxygen. SOK - Supplementary Oxygen Kit is provided on board, which is subject to prior permission, approval, and regulations of the country of origin from where the patient will fly and destination of the patient. In this case, one extra seat or maybe more is required to strap the oxygen cylinder next to the passenger seat, and additional charges have to be paid. Depending on the oxygen flow rate and flight time, the passenger may require more than one oxygen bottle on board. The patient will require a medical certificate from a physician to indicate fitness to travel without extraordinary medical assistance from the cabin crew during the flight.
Stretcher services are available for the patient who is accompanied by an expert medical professional.
The family then went through the list of requirement, were taken aback as the formalities looked too much complicated for them and at a point they wanted to skip the idea of traveling abroad. One of their relative Mr. Bharat had recently traveled abroad for treatment, and they thought of taking his advice as to how he dealt with the formalities. Bharat is a businessman who had suffered from a heart ailment in the recent past, and he has availed for treatment abroad. He suggested the family that they should only focus on the treatment, and the rest should be left on experts. He detailed the family that he took the support of Hi-Flying services for transportation. The team is proficient and skillful and have around 25 years of experience of patient repatriation and transportation. Being a commercial service provider, they have huge tie-ups with international fliers. So all the documentation related to the transport of the patient is taken care of by them. The administrative team handles the entire documentation process, including visa and the necessary medical clearance documentation. The medical team takes care of all the arrangements on the flight. The arrangement on the plane like the fitting of the oxygen cylinder and medical equipment necessary for the patient transit is taken care of by their expert medical team. The family got in touch with the Hi-Flying team and were relieved once they understood the process.
Asha's transport was arranged on a commercial stretcher which was organized on a commercial flight. The medical team of Hi-Flying completed the arrangements for fitting the oxygen cylinder for continues supply before the take-off. A doctor and a nurse were also present in the flight for monitoring the condition of the patient throughout the journey. All the necessary permission, medical clearance of the patient were in place beforehand. Asha's husband had coordinated with the hospital in Singapore and had discussed her case. Asha and her husband reached Singapore safely, and she is undergoing her treatment.
They are relieved that Asha could receive advanced treatment, but the most pivotal thing is, Hi-Flying so seamlessly handled the entire procedure. Commonly, the documentation procedure is the most hectic part for such process, and people refrain from taking up the charge of such responsibilities. Thanks to the expert services of Hi-Flying available, a major load of transit for the patient and their family is reduced.