Medevac services in South Africa
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Medevac services in South Africa


Mozambique, is a country located in Southeast Africa bordered by Zimbabwe to the west, Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa to the southwest, Tanzania to the north,the Indian Ocean to the east, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest.The capital of Mozambique is Maputo and Matola is the largest city. In a recent incidence Mozambique was hit by a severe cyclone Idai. The incidence left thousands of citizens homeless, regions were flooded, houses washed away, people running helter skelter for help left with no food, water and electricity supply. The cyclone is among the deadliest one and has left people incapacitated.

Local resident Otelea, while recollecting the incident recounts that it was scary, people running in all directions, the water was full of snakes. Jose, another resident was in Buzi, which is home to nearly 120,000 people, and all had to move to higher plain land, fleeing the violent flood waters. Some locals took shelter on the roof of a local government's office, but all were not lucky and some got drowned in the violent flow of water.

According to the latest figures released by the authorities the number of people affected could be more than 1,000 in one of the worst cyclones experienced by southern Africa. Adjoining places like Beira, which was also fuddled by Idai, also suffered loses to a greater extent.

The cyclone survivors are now trying to put back their lives in order in bits and parts also dealing with basic requirements needs of food, water, shelter and healthcare.

More than 2,000 people have been rescued from Buzi, a town which was hit worst. Many hospitals and aid agencies also got wiped out in the cyclone and availability of medicines is scarce in these institutions too.

Mozambique and South Africa not only shares its borders but their bilateral trade relation is a reason whereby many South African citizens visit Mozambique for trade, business and other reasons like touring for sports, education in the country. Some have their loved ones staying in this country. A group of school members comprising of 10 kids, from the neighboring country of South Africa were touring Mozambique for a tournament and were stuck due to the cyclone in one of the administrative building. They managed to establish contact with their school administration somehow. The higher authorities started looking for various options to evacuate their team safely to their home country. During the discussion, a suggestion came up to take the help of Medevac services. Medevac, is basically used to expatriate patient during emergency or soldiers from the war zone. But in case of emergency, people use it for the evacuation of locals for evacuation. Hi Flying commercial services are renowned in South Africa for patient expatriation as well as emergency evacuation of citizens. They provide services like Air Ambulance, Medevac, patient expatriation on commercial flights and private air ambulance as well.

They provide these services on International,and Domestic Air Ambulance flights as well. The team comprises of doctors, critical care paramedics, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, specialized pediatric doctors. Hi Flying offers multiple options w.r.t aircraft on commercial flights to cater the individual needs and considering their budget. All the Air Ambulance are well equipped with state-of-the-art life support equipment to meet the critical care needs of the patient. The flights used for evacuation are private jets, including Learjet and Gulfstream. Each plane is well equipped with the latest medical equipment and is schemed to respond quickly to the patients' needs. The aircrafts are regularly maintained and inspected regularly. They ensure complete safety of the patient and their staff as well.

When it is critical to fly a patient to long distances, specially to other countries, it is better to fly with the assistance of qualified medical staff. This is particularly important for international air ambulance transports. Hi-Flying have trained team, the most sophisticated air ambulance equipment, ensure complete and competent care for the most critically ill patient as well as the non-emergency patient.  

Based on the condition of the patient and the medical attention required for the patient i.e whether the patient is on Advanced Life Support, Basic Life Support, or with Acute Respiratory disorder patient or a Trauma patient, they support with the appropriate medical team.

All the members of their air medical unit have a minimum of five years of on-job work experience in critical care. All the team members have to compulsorily participate in  annual training programs to upgrade their skills and to absorb new technologies and techniques to handle the patient. They have complete information on aero-medical procedures and protocols. An exhaustive physical examination of the patient is done to ensure that he/she is in a physical condition to fly safely.
Coordination between the destination of the patient from where the patient is deported to the receiving facilities is managed by their efficient team to ensure seamless transportation.

All the documentation procedure is managed thoroughly by their administrative staff and ground travel to and from the airport is also carefully handled.

Medical care during transportation in flight is taken care of by the medical team.

Receiving facility is kept in the loop throughout the procedure so that they keep all arrangements ready to initiate further treatment.

Each case study by itself is an experience for the team. The patient and the family members financial condition is taken into consideration while offering them packages.

Hi- Flying team has years of experience to handle expatriation of pediatric cases, neonatal cases, trauma patients, burn patients, patients suffering from respiratory disorders.

Their Medical Director monitors the entire process personally and is in touch with the medical team during the procedure.

Air ambulance flight, Gulfstream jet is most widely used for Medevac services. The flight range is between 3,600 and 4,100 miles at a speed of 560 miles/ hour. Gulfstreams are large aircraft that can conform to 15 passengers. In case only 1 or 2 people need to be evacuated, Learjet is preferred. It has a range of 1,500-3,000 miles at a speed of 533 miles/hour.

In this case, there was no medical emergency but an emergency due to natural calamity. A team comprising of around 12-13 members which included mostly teenage students were to be evacuated. The weather was also harsh. Laying down a full-proof plan was the first priority of Hi-Flying team. Also, it was decided that a doctor and a nurse shall fly, to ensure that the health condition of the persons is taken care of while flying back. Packets of food, water, saline, and medicines, etc were carried in the flight. For this expatriation mission, Gulfstream aircraft was deputed as it can carry about 15 members safely.

Time for flying to Mozambique was fixed, taking into consideration the weather condition. Once the weather was favorable to fly, the flight took off to Mozambique. It took around 2 hours and 30 minutes which was slightly more than the usual time of 2 hours to reach the destination due to slight lousy weather. Also, a chopper was used to evacuate the people from the building to the airport. After getting all the people on board, their physical evaluation was carried out. Some of the kids were dehydrated due to lack of food and water, and they were provided liquid to consume first. After the physical assessment was complete, the families were informed about the well being of the individuals, and school authorities were given information about the entire operation. The operation was successful, and all the members reached their destination safely. 

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