my face. I was so outraged, I banged on the door until some poor cashier reopened it, saw my face and stamped the form to allow me to collect the equipment.” So, you’ve got the patient to the airport, and made it onto the flight. It should be smooth sailing (flying) from here, right? Wrong. What about the time that Rita Mody, Flight Nurse at Capital Air Ambulance in the UK, was with a patient who seemed to be having a party all by himself? “I was escorting a Japanese patient with a broken femur from Frankfurt to Osaka in first class," she told ITIJ. "He spoke no English, so I had to mime everything. He had been in Frankfurt on business for six weeks. On the flight he proceeded to ask for a beer. No problem – except that 45 minutes later he was on his fifth beer.” Unable to stop him drinking, she tried to get a cabin crew member to teach her basic Japanese so that she could either ask him to consider a soft drink or provide him with counselling as to why he drank so much. She explained: “It didn’t work, and he promptly fell asleep after his seventh beer. I then discreetly tried to get him into the recovery position, with a sick bag next to him, without any of the other first-class passengers wondering what I was doing.” Speaking of sleep, it’s an important part of many missions, particularly during

overnight stays where the escort needs to wake up refreshed for a flight. At least that’s the theory. Rita related the tale of one particularly restless night: “I was booked into a hotel in Spain. By the time I had landed, been to assess the patient, had something to eat and got back to the hotel,

the overseas nursing agency had reported us to immigration as working abroad and they would be waiting to arrest us when we arrived at the house with the ambulance

it was about 9.30 p.m. Planning to just go to sleep, I was kept awake by sounds from the next room.” Without going into detail, let’s just say that a couple next door were wide awake. Rita said: “I thought it would all be over in a few minutes, however, after 60 minutes there was no stopping and now there was another person in the room and they were getting very loud! I wouldn’t have cared, except it was stopping me from

sleeping (typically, I had forgotten my ear plugs!). I called down to reception and had a very embarrassing conversation with the receptionist, who didn’t really understand what I wanted.” Te ‘fun’, said Rita, continued for another three hours, and she eventually got to sleep for about two hours. In the taxi that morning, she mentioned the lack of sleep and the reason, and the laughing driver said he knew they regularly made adult films at the hotel. Rita said: “I did mention it to the assistance company when I returned home to not use that hotel again!” While that’s an example of an escort being disturbed by the media (if we can call it that), Gavin Bland related this case where he gained the media spotlight, and not in a good way: “While I was the Chief Nursing Officer of a large assistance company, we had a terminally ill patient in one of the Caribbean islands. She was having home nursing, and the family were desperate to return her to the UK to die. Te nursing agency providing home care overseas kept trying to get us to agree to use their staff to repatriate the patient. We would not agree to this, as we needed to know the experience level of the flight nurses who would repatriate her.” Sensing there was going to be an


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Voyageur24-Ad-2018-Review.indd 1 | 23 International Travel & Health Insurance Journal 28/03/2018 12:28

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