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Medical Escort

Critical Care Flight Nurses Escort Patients Worldwide


Our R.N. flight nurse will accompany you in the business or first class cabin of a major commercial airline. Business or first class seats offer a reclining position for patients who are immobile or unable to care for themselves during their flight. International carriers often offer sleeper seats in their first class cabin that recline to a bed position and provide for additional privacy.

To ensure safe travel we secure required medical clearances, coordinate all ground and air transportation and arrange for any specialized medical equipment that you require.

We closely monitor your medical status from your first phone call until reaching your destination. Under the direction of your personal physician and health care team, we receive updated medical reports until your departure to ensure that we modify your flight plan to secure a safe arrival. All treatment administered in-flight follows medical orders provided by your primary care physician. Emergency treatment is performed in accordance with the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Standards.

Upon arrival at your destination your flight nurse will provide a detailed briefing to the receiving medical facility. If your home is your final destination, your flight nurse will help you and your family make an informed and comfortable adjustment based on your medical needs.

Class of seating:

Our flight nurses travel to and from their base in economy class seating. Our patient and flight nurse travel in the business or first class cabin. Many of our patients are unable to ambulate, converse, support themselves in a seated position or care for any of their needs. We commonly lift patients and place them in a reclined business or first class seat. Changing a patient’s position by shifting them in this larger seat, elevating their legs, and performing range of motion to their extremities is imperative to maintain adequate circulation, limit edema and decrease the risk of blood clots. The business or first class cabin offers more privacy, a quiet environment and added space if a medical emergency were to occur.

Commercial airline stretcher service:

This service is not offered in the US anywhere and only offered on some international flights. It is often cost-prohibitive and very uncomfortable for our patient. A platform is set up on the backs of seats in the Economy class section and a gurney is placed on the platform. This allows for little room between the patient and the luggage compartment above. It is generally not recommended for the following reasons: The airline stretcher kit has a narrow frame and thin pad. The patient is required to have several straps across their chest and legs and cannot be turned or repositioned due to the narrow width. The stretcher head and back support rises approximately 12 inches, preventing the patient from sitting fairly upright to assist with respiratory efforts. The stretcher is located along the window, limiting the nurse to care for the patient from one side only. There is a privacy curtain, but the patient must be viewed by our nurse at all times, exposing their care to multiple passengers.

After evaluating your medical transport needs and consulting with your health care providers, Flying Nurses International can secure authorization for stretcher service. A detailed medical clearance form must be approved by the medical department of the airline which may take from seventy-two hours to  two weeks to obtain.

Use of Medical Equipment:

In-flight use of medical equipment must first be accepted by the medical department of each airline. They review the specifications and manufacturer of each device. Only equipment that has been FAA approved can be used and most often it must be gel-cell or lithium ion battery operated. Certain airlines rarely allow the use of their power system for auxiliary use.

Use of Supplemental Oxygen:

Supplemental oxygen may be necessary to compensate for the decrease in cabin oxygen levels.  Because commercial airlines supply oxygen on an emergency basis only, a portable oxygen concentrator will be used for our patients requiring it.  Pre-approval by the airline’s medical department with advanced notice of 48-72 hours is required.  The order for oxygen use must be obtained from the physician caring for the patient.  We will assist in determining the most appropriate option for your medical transport needs and will arrange oxygen during the flight.

International Travel:

Our medical escort flight nurses will accompany a patient to any safe destination worldwide. We have safely traveled to 90 countries and 6 continents. Many of our nurses are bi-lingual, and also utilize language applications on their phones that allow them to speak with their patient/family members. Airline flight crew will offer assistance with translation in-flight as needed for a comfortable journey.

*Flying Nurses International is not affiliated or otherwise associated with InteliStaf or its “Flying Nurses” travel nurse staffing division.*