Know The Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

As the nation sizzles under the summer heat, it’s good to get a refresher course on heat-related illnesses and ways to prevent. them. The offices for Angel MedFlight are in Scottsdale, Ariz., where summer temps often push the mercury up to 110 degrees and beyond. Other parts of the nation as well are bound to get extreme heat this summer and it’s important to know if you or someone you know is overheating. Too much heat can be fatal.

It’s important to know right off the bat that those at the greatest risk for heat-related illness are infants and children up to four years of age and people 65 or older. People who are overweight, ill or on certain medications are also at a higher risk.

When the body heats up, it sweats to cool itself off. But under certain conditions sweating isn’t enough and that’s when our body temperature starts to rise rapidly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. In high humidity, sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly and that prevents the body from releasing heat quickly.

Know the signs of heat stroke, the most serious heat-related illness. The CDC says heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s sweating mechanism fails and the body can’t cool down. Heat stroke can lead to permanent disability and even death.

The CDC says warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F), red, hot and dry skin with no sweating; a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness.

If you see any of these signs, have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin to cool the victim. Get the victim to a shady area and start cooling the person rapidly. Try getting the victim into a tub of cool water or place the person in a cool shower. Even spraying the person with a garden hose will help. If the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan the person vigorously.

The CDC recommends monitoring the victim’s body temperature until it drops to 101-102°F. Do not give the victim any alcohol to drink and seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

While not as severe as heat stroke, heat exhaustion is another heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures without replenishing the body with adequate and balanced fluids. Who is most prone to heat exhaustion? Elderly people, those with high blood pressure and people who work or exercise in a hot environment.

The warning signs for heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea or vomiting, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, paleness, weakness and fainting. The victim may also experience tiredness and muscle cramps. The victim’s skin may be cool and most and their pulse rate will be fast and weak. Breathing will be rapid and shallow. Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke so it’s important to seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.

In order to cool the body during heat exhaustion the CDC recommends drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages, taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath, resting and getting into an air-conditioned area wearing lightweight clothing.

Many people will continue to work or play in extreme heat, thinking perhaps they are immune to a heat-related illness. Best not to chance it. Know the warning signs and keep cool this summer. Drink plenty of fluids, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wants you to have a happy and healthy summer.

A Thank You for a Life Saved

A compassionate decision by Angel MedFlight’s CEO reunites a family

Stories like Evan’s are the reasons why we go above and beyond to provide caring, compassionate medical transports.

Evan was born with multiple sclerosis, and for most of his life was able to live independently. Recently, his physical health had deteriorated and he had become confined to a wheelchair. As he lost the freedom of movement he had been accustomed to his whole life, his emotional health declined as well. The decision was made to transport Evan from Arizona to New York to live with family.

Angel MedFlight's Kim Halloran visits Evan

Evan’s mother Lois contacted Angel MedFlight to arrange a commercial medical escort (Angel MedFlight medical crew accompanying Evan on a commercial airliner) for her son. She needed to get him to New York before the weekend, but it was a busy time for the airlines; there were simply no appropriate seats available between Phoenix and the New York area.

Evan’s family desperately wanted him home, and knowing how important this was for the entire family, Angel MedFlight CEO Jeremy Freer made the call to transport Evan via medically-configured jet, and to do it at the cost of a commercial medical escort. Jeremy’s decision was made out of compassion, and would prove to have major health implications as well.

During the air medical transport, the Angel MedFlight critical care medical crew discovered that Evan had a medical issue that, if left untreated, could have drastic health consequences. When the aircraft touched down in New Jersey, they urged Evan’s family to take him to the emergency room for treatment.

His parents heeded the medical crew’s advice, and here is what Evan’s mother shared with us:

Hi, Jeremy –

I cannot thank you, the medical team, crew and your staff enough for all they did for me and my son. You saved his life and that is no understatement!! The caring and hands-on concern and treatment has astounded me and restored my faith in humanity. Every step in the process was handled with the utmost professionalism, care, courtesy and expertise, and both Evan and I were guided every step of the way – we were in the best hands possible!

Evan has been in the hospital since Friday night, where he was admitted and is making progress. If you had not stepped in, I know that outcome would have been beyond terrible. I shudder to think what might have happened to him.

You are all miracle workers to me and that is an understatement.

All the very best – I will keep you posted about Evan’s condition and I plan to spread the word about your company to all!

My best personal regards,

Lois

There is no greater reward for what we do at Angel MedFlight than a life saved, a patient healing, and a family comforted.

CDC Issues E. Coli Travel Notice

Effective June 2, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an outbreak notice for E. coli infections in Germany.

German health authorities have reported cases of a severe illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening complication of E. coli infections.

HUS develops when E. coli bacteria in the digestive system produce toxins that destroy red blood cells. These cells clog the kidneys’ filtering system, leading to kidney injury and even kidney failure.

The syndrome often begins with abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and fever. People with this condition may experience decreased urination and symptoms of anemia. Signs of HUS typically start five to seven days after the onset of diarrhea. HUS is a serious condition, but can be cured with appropriate treatment.

The outbreak, which started in Germany in early May, has so far sickened more than 1,000 people. Many have been hospitalized, and some have died. New cases are still being reported.

German health authorities suspect that the source is contaminated raw vegetables, but have not yet confirmed a source. They are still investigating.

Until further notice, travelers to Germany should avoid eating cucumbers, tomatoes and leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach.

If you have traveled to Germany and have symptoms of HUS, see a doctor right away.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic

Practical Tips Before You Travel

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and for countless Americans, that means travel. Before you pack for your next trip, here is some information that could literally save your life.

Review your medical insurance policy. Some policies provide limited or no coverage when you travel out of the country. Look at your emergency transportation benefits: Will you be transported to the nearest adequate facility or returned to the U.S. for treatment? For example, if you are in a serious accident in Mexico that will require surgery, will your insurance provide air ambulance service for you to return to the United States for the operation?

Consider purchasing supplemental travel insurance. Travel insurance can be an affordable option that provides some coverage that standard health insurance may not. As with traditional policies, it’s important to read the fine print in travel coverage, too. Some things to look for:

Adventure Sports: Some travel insurance policies exclude adventure sports activities that you might try on a trip (bungee jumping, skiing, para sailing, etc). If you plan on an active vacation, select a travel insurance policy that includes sports benefits, or see about adding coverage for them.

Repatriation: For the international traveler, repatriation coverage is crucial. If you are sick or injured overseas, you want a policy that will get you initially treated, stabilized and flown back to the U.S. on a medically equipped and staffed jet. Pay close attention to the fine print, as some policies include repatriation only after you are well enough to fly commercially, which could result in you being stranded in a foreign country for months while you recover.

Hospital of Choice: Note whether the travel insurance policy will fly you to the medical facility of your choice or the medical facility of their choice. This distinction could mean the difference in spending months at a facility close to your home and family or one hundreds – even thousands of miles away.

Travel insurance can be purchased on an annual or per-trip basis, with basic trip insurance starting at around $100 per person. Many policies are customizable, with options like adventure sports and “hospital of choice” medical evacuation coverage.

Make a list of your medications and allergies. Put a copy in your wallet, and leave a copy with your emergency contact, preferably someone not on the trip with you.

Make copies of your insurance information. Take your insurance information with you, and leave a copy of your insurance card (front and back), traveler’s insurance policy, social security card and passport (if traveling internationally) with your emergency contact as well. In the event that you are incapacitated, your emergency contact can begin making arrangements to get you back to the U.S.

Put an Angel MedFlight business card in your wallet or write down www.angelmedflight.com. As an international air medical transportation provider, Angel MedFlight transports patients all over the world, many of whom become seriously ill or injured while traveling. In the face of a medical crisis, we are the compassionate team of health care professionals dedicated to your protection and care.

Angel MedFlight: 2010 Winner, BBB of Greater Arizona Business Ethics Awards

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance was presented with the 2010 Business Ethics Award by the Better Business Bureau of Central, Northern and Western Arizona on Wednesday, May 12.  Here is the video, prepared by Cox Communications,  recognizing Angel MedFlight as an Ethics Awards Winner.  Enjoy!

Angel MedFlight Draws Winner for CMSA National Conference Trip Giveaway

If you missed Angel MedFlight’s live drawing of the winner of the All-Expense-Paid Trip to the CMSA National Conference and Expo, don’t worry!  We made sure to hit record, and have the video available for you to view right here, or on our website’s trip giveaway page.

[Video Transcription]

Since 2006… Angel MedFlight has been providing medical air transportation for critically ill or injured patients.
Every day… we help patients get the vital treatment they need at health care facilities across the country or around the world.

We hope that you will spend a few minutes going through our website to learn more about our service and how we can help you provide your patients with the best care possible.

You can even request an informational folder on our case manager’s page.

We are committed to simplifying the medical air transport process, reducing stress on your patients and their families as well as saving you time so you can focus on your patients’ care.

We appreciate how hard you work and we are here to support you.

That’s why we have teamed up with the Case Management Society of America as a gold corporate partner.

In fact, we are also a sponsor for 2010 CMSA National Conference and Expo in June.

We hope that you will come by the Angel MedFlight Booth #507 to meet me and other dedicated members of the Angel MedFlight team.

We will be bringing the amazing patient simulator SIM MAN 3-G and offering short demonstrations to show you how the Angel MedFlight Medical Team trains for in-flight patient care and emergencies.

We will also have one of our insurance specialists on hand to explain how we work closely with all insurance companies to streamline the process and expedite flight benefit approvals.

But it won’t be the same if you’re not there. That’s why this year Angel MedFlight is sending one lucky health care professional and a guest on an All-Expense-Paid Trip to the CMSA Conference and Expo “Dreaming and Doing” at the Coronado Springs Resort in Disney World.

Throughout April case managers and health care professionals, like you, have submitted questions for the Angel MedFlight Knowledge Base.

In fact, we received more than 900 entries and we truly appreciate it.

All of you have been entered to win this great prize package which includes:

- Two round-trip airline tickets to Orlando, Florida from a major U.S. airport
- Five-night stay at the Coronado Springs Resort in a junior suite, checking in Monday June 7th & checking out  Saturday, June 12th
- A Disney food allowance of $75 per person… per day for the five-day duration of the trip
- One full registration package to the CMSA National Conference
- Two tickets to the CMSA Coast-to-Coast Party, Tuesday, June 8th at Disney Studios
- Personal transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport in Florida

So now we’d like to introduce Richard Siever… a member of the Angel MedFlight legal team.

As legal counsel for Angel MedFlight… Richard is here to verify that all the entries meet the rules and guidelines of the contest and that all the contestant names have been added to our raffle drum.

Richard… will you please draw the lucky winner for the Angel MedFlight’s  All-Expense-Paid Trip Giveaway.

And the winner is Patricia Gathof!

On behalf of everyone here at Angel MedFlight, we’d like to thank all of you for entering to win.

We hope that you will attend the CMSA National Conference and Expo and stop by booth #507 to see us.

Angel MedFlight CEO Talks “Business for Breakfast”

Earlier this month, Angel MedFlight was named a finalist for the BBB Business Ethics Awards.  On Tuesday, April 27, Financial News Radio 1510 AM spoke with a number of the finalists, including Kelly LoCascio, Angel MedFlight CEO, on their morning show, Business for Breakfast.  At 6:45am, Kelly went live on the air.  Hit the play button below to listen to the entire interview.


Angel MedFlight to Participate in Challenge Air Fly Day

Angel MedFlight is excited to be a part of The Challenge Air for Kids & Friends Phoenix, AZ Fly Day on Saturday, April 24th.  This amazing event allows children with special needs to take a brief flight over Phoenix.  For many of the children, this will be their first flight ever.

Each year local volunteers and community organizations work together to provide a day of inspiration for the children and their families, and this year, Angel MedFlight will be providing a medical crew for the event.

Each child will get to walk down a red carpet and take a 30 minute plane ride over phoenix.   They will also be able to explore a Phoenix Police Department Helicopter and Fire Department Fire Truck.  Other activities on hand for the day include Aviation Bingo, Reading with BookPALS, Cake Roll, Face Painting, Temporary Tattoos, Cleared for Take Off with Troop #1327, Coloring Corner, DJ, Build your own foam airplane and special appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog , Mascots from the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes and some Arizona Royalty.

The Phoenix Fly Day in 2009 gave almost 100 children the opportunity to fly!  This year Challenge air hopes to bring over 140 children into the skies.

Event Details:

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

7:30 am – 3:00 pm

Cutter Aviation Deer Valley

Phoenix-Deer Valley Airport

530 West Deer Valley Road

Phoenix, AZ 85027

More Information

Volunteer

News Coverage


Angel MedFlight Shows Support for Brain Injury Awareness Month

Every 23 seconds a brain injury occurs in the United States, according to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

Angel MedFlight Employees Wear Blue to Show Support for Brain Injury Awareness Month

In recognition of March as Brain Injury Awareness Month, Angel MedFlight is wearing blue to help raise awareness and show support for those affected by this debilitating injury.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain.  A TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting language, thinking, behavior, sensations and/or emotions.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 5.3 million Americans live with a disability resulting from a TBI.

Lisa Counters (right), AMF Senior Litigation Counsel & BIAAZ President

“Brain injuries not only affect survivors, but also their families and friends,” explains Lisa Counters, Angel MedFlight Senior Litigation Counsel and the Brain Injury Association of Arizona (BIAAZ) President.  “Creating awareness and generating support allows the [BIAAZ] to continue helping individuals and families cope with a brain injury, and connect them with providers who offer medical, legal and emotional support.”

To learn more about traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to support education and awareness efforts, visit the following websites:

Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)

Brain Injury Association of Arizona (BIAAZ)

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


One-Year-Old Transported to Philadelphia for Specialized Care

(March 12, 2010) Angel MedFlight safely transported this adorable one-year-old girl.

Doctors in Washington recommended she make a 2,000 mile air medical trip to a children’s facility where she can receive specialized care for her condition.

Angel MedFlight Transports One-Year-Old to Philadelphia

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