Many Brits choose to travel abroad in the summer holidays and despite the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, Europe remains a popular destination. But what if you fall ill or are seriously injured during your stay overseas and need a medical transport to get back home? When hearing the words ‘medical repatriation’ many people think of medical flights and air ambulance.s But within the borders of Europe many patient transports can be carried out by long-distance road ambulance. This has several advantages – not least of all in cost and patient comfort.
Road ambulance vs air ambulance
While an air ambulance undeniably remains the fastest way to transport a patient, travelling by road ambulance can have many advantages.
Road ambulances are one of the most comfortable ways for a patient to travel. We are able to take patients over long distances by road. Our state-of-the-art vacuum mattresses can keep patients comfortable even over thousands of kilometres. This means that we can complete most journeys within Europe by long-distance road ambulance.
Our ambulances are state-of-the-art mobile emergency rooms where patients can be diagnosed, treated and stabilised by our medical team. Every ambulance in our fleet is ICU equipped, and carries medicine and the latest equipment on board, including a ventilator, so the team can respond to any eventuality.
Because we have our own fleet, we can often arrange for a same-day departure. There is no need for additional transfers, bookings (unless the journey involves ferry- or train travel, in which case we make those arrangements for you as well) or flight plan scheduling. We assemble a team of doctors, paramedics and nurses for the journey, with the right specialisms depending on the patient’s needs who will meet the patient at their location and carry out their own examination, before preparing the patient for travel and taking them home.
Travelling by road ambulances has significant cost advantages over a transport by private air ambulance. The costs of any repatriation are largely determined by a variety of factors such as distance, patient condition, urgency and medical team. With a repatriation by air ambulance the prices for the aircraft itself as well as crew and possible fuelling stops have to be added. For an accurate quotation, it’s best to request a free quote, so you know exactly what to expect.
Our long-distance road ambulances
All of our vehicles have been designed with the long-distance transportation of patients in mind. To increase patient comfort and safety we use only vehicles with automatic gearboxes to avoid sudden jerks and starts. In addition, our ambulances are all fitted with air suspension to allow for a smoother ride on irregular road surfaces.
What happens en-route?
During the journey the medical team will look after all the patient’s needs. This includes continuing any treatment the patient was receiving in hospital and administering medication and pain relief. If the patient is able to eat and drink, the team will make sure they receive plenty of food and water – at no extra charge.
The stretcher inside the ambulance can be put in either a flat or an upright position, so the patient can lie down or sit up. It’s possible to switch between positions while driving, so there is no need to interrupt the journey to ensure the patient is comfortable. If the patient is mobile, we will stop for comfort breaks whenever necessary during which they’ll be able to use the lavatory. The medical team can offer assistance if needed.
In most cases, patients can take a piece of luggage and a foldable non-electric wheelchair on board the ambulance. Depending on the patient’s condition it’s often also possible for one other person to accompany the patient during the repatriation – provided it doesn’t interfere with patient safety or treatment.
For more information on our medical repatriation services within Europe, you can contact us 24/7 either by email at [email protected], by phone on +44 20 38684782 or by using the live chat on our website. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help.