It’s a question many travelers must face: “Am I too sick to get on this flight?” Every flight for a sick patient has differences in the details, but two issues are important: understanding the signs of severe illness and knowing the situations where you can use non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) as a less expensive alternative to an air ambulance.
There are many different scenarios involving flights for sick patients, but many of them are among the situations that require NEMT.
Here’s an overview that provides a quick way to analyze your situation and decide if you can fly on a plane if you are sick, and whether you may need NEMT.
Flying When You Are Sick
When it comes to the subject of flights for sick patients, everyone knows there are different levels of sickness, from a minor cold to something more severe. But certain symptoms are red flags that may indicate you are too sick to travel. Those signs include:
- Fever. A fever over 100 degrees indicates you are contagious with whatever illness you have.
- Chest pain. This can be a sign of many things, not all of them associated with your heart, but if the pain does not fade it’s a good idea to see a doctor before getting on a plane.
- Nausea. In addition to being a sign of more severe illness, nausea is not something you want to experience while traveling 500 miles per hour at 30,000 feet.
- Trouble breathing. Like chest pain, this may or may not be something serious, but only checking with a doctor can make you certain.
- Medical condition. This does not fall under the usual “too sick to fly” scenarios, but a condition that makes it difficult to move around on your own or that requires a clinician to monitor your health typically means you should check into using NEMT.
Scenarios Where You Want NEMT
Having a chronic or medical condition, as mentioned above, is a good reason to check into using NEMT. With NEMT, an experienced flight nurse flies with you on a commercial flight (with the NEMT company handling all the flight booking and air travel arrangements).
But other situations may also require NEMT. They include the following.
Moving parents. Older people with health conditions feel safer flying with experienced medical personnel.
Children. Much like seniors, having medical personnel fly with children who have a medical condition ensures they are safe during the trip.
Health treatment. Some people must fly to see a specialist or receive special treatment
Injuries on vacation. Getting home if you’re injured on vacation can be a nightmare, but a NEMT company can get the job done easily.
An Alternative to an Air Ambulance
NEMT service also provides a less expensive medical transport option to those whose other option is an expensive air ambulance. Air ambulance costs have escalated rapidly in recent years, making a safe and less expensive alternative much more attractive. Choosing NEMT is even a good choice for flights for sick patients if they must fly on a stretcher or require a wheelchair, both situations a flight nurse can handle. Whatever your reasons for needing flights for sick patients, NEMT services can provide the support you need to plan your trip and arrive at your destination safely.