IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 122

International SOS | From East to West
Injuries and illness inevitably happen in extreme and
remote locations, but they also happen to regular
travellers and crew members on board aircraft and
ships, as well as the crew members. As travel gets
cheaper, and with people living longer and
venturing further, the risk of medical incidents is
bound to increase.
Joan Sullivan Garrett, founder of MedAire.
MedAire Today
MedAire handles 41,000 medical
and security cases annually.
Nearly 3,000 aircraft use the
MedLink service.
MedLink receives 80-100 in-flight
calls and 60-80 gate screening calls
per day.
MedAire trains nearly 5,000 aviation
crew per year on how to handle
inflight illness and medical
MedAire has over 600 yachting
clients worldwide who use its
MedLink service.
We were the first medical assistance provider in Asia
to offer telemedical services to a major commercial
airline. In January 2000, we signed an agreement
with Singapore Airlines to provide medical advice to
cabin crew members via in-flight telephone links to
our Singapore Assistance Centre. Crew members
were also taught to use basic diagnostic equipment,
which we supplied to the aircraft, to check the
patient’s pulse, blood pressure and temperature.
Similar arrangements followed with other leading
airlines, including Ansett Australia, Emirates,
Virgin and Lufthansa, plus a number of private
corporate jets.
Providing assistance to those in the air and at sea
took another step forwards in 2008 with the
acquisition of MedAire, one of our competitors.
MedAire was well established as a specialist provider
of medical equipment and training to many major
airlines and private corporate jets, as well as super
yachts and commercial maritime clients.
MedAire was formed in 1985 when Joan Sullivan
Garrett, a critical-care registered flight nurse with
over 20 years’ medical experience, had a simple yet
revolutionary idea. She wanted to bring first-class
medical care to any traveller in need and so she
started the company – MedAire. Today, MedAire
continues to focus on helping people in the air
and at sea.
MedAire recognises the particular challenges
passenger and crew face in the air and
at sea from the moment an incident occurs.
As Grant Jeffery explains:
“A whole series of enquiries have to be made,
including whether there’s anyone on board with
relevant medical experience, what impact the
environment will have on the patient and whether
a diversion may be necessary. In these conditions,
what we do is make it easier for the captain and
crew to concentrate on a safe passage and the
wellbeing of all passengers.”
Grant points out that to make every journey safe for
every passenger, three elements need to be in place:
A crew trained to recognise and manage medical
emergencies; the right medical equipment on board;
and the ability to get acute advice from a doctor
who understands the confines of an aircraft or
vessel. Grant calls this “the three Es: Education,
equipment and expertise.”
Arnaud Vaissié: “MedAire’s vast experience in
the unique, fast-growing aviation and maritime
industries makes it an important part of the
International SOS group. Together we can manage
medical events end-to-end, and in virtually any
type of environment.”


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