Background and objective: International long-distance travel increasingly takes elderly and sometimes already ill persons to foreign countries. In case of illness it is usually best, for both medical and social reasons, that the person return home. This study was undertaken to assess possibilities and limits of bringing such patients home by scheduled airline. Patient and methods: The transportation reports and case notes of 95 patients who had been repatriated to Germany in 1995 and 1996 for medical reasons were analysed retrospectively. The mean age was 56 (16-94) years. 50% of the patients had medical, 23% surgical, 19% neurological and 8% psychiatric illnesses. Results: None of the patients died during transport. The NACA score (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, USA) for determining the degree of severity of an illness (point scale 1-7) in this group of patients was between 1 and 4, median of 3. Five patients with a score of 5 or higher were judged not to be fit for transport. Two were repatriated by ambulance plane, in three transport was postponed by a few days. No invasive procedures, other than providing intravenous access, were necessary. Conclusions: Patients who fall ill abroad can be safely and carefully brought home by scheduled airliner over great distances without additional risk caused by the transport. Ambulance planes are needed only in illnesses with an NACA score of 4 or higher.
|Translated title of the contribution||International inter-hospital transport by scheduled airline|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Sep 1998|