During a flight, have you ever heard, "are there any doctors on board?" Or worse, had your flight diverted due to an emergency? It is common for medical emergencies to occur in the sky, just as they do on the ground. However, the likelihood of experiencing an in-flight medical emergency is much higher than the average person might think. Did you know that MedAire's Global Response Centre receives roughly 300 calls every day? The most common medical case types include gastrointestinal, neurological, musculoskeletal, infectious/communicable, and respiratory illnesses. Essentially, MedAire saves lives in places where medical treatment is not easily accessible, whether on the deck of a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea or the galley of an aircraft 40,000 feet in the air. MedAire's expert assistance is available anytime, anywhere.

MedAire, an International SOS company, is the leading provider of travel risk management solutions for aviation and luxury yachts. Whether on land, air or at sea, MedAire is available anytime, anywhere around the globe. MedAire offers 24/7, 365 days a year medical and security assistance driven by experts, best in class onboard medical kits and equipment, and crew medical and safety training. MedAire pioneered remote telemedicine and for 35 years has been continuously evolving our solutions for the complex problems of a changing and diverse world. At MedAire, we believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is essential to driving our business forward. Diverse and inclusive teams impact our products and services to help us better serve our clients. MedAire's global network expands over 27 Assistance Centres, 64 clinics, 90 countries, and over 100 languages spoken. Our diversity strengthens our mission to be a valuable partner by providing expert medical, security, and operational support to keep travellers and assets safe.


MedAire's Global Response Centre Explained

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    Superyacht community sees 40% increase in need for medical support

    Jun 30, 2021
    MedAire News

    30 June 2021, Phoenix – MedAire, the leading medical assistance, safety and security organisation has revealed a 40% increase in use of its MedLink service between 2019 and 2020[1]. The service, dedicated entirely to the superyacht community, provides crew and guests with direct access to medical professionals in an emergency situation as well as for general medical advice. MedLink provides services to over 50% of the world’s superyachts.

    A total of 15 of 18 MedLink case categories showed substantial increases, demonstrating the importance of telemedical services to the yachting industry.

    Infectious/ communicable disease, including Covid-19, unsurprisingly, showed the largest increase of over five times (504%) more cases compared to the previous year.

    Mental health was the second most increased category, which saw a 131% rise in cases. Calls related predominantly to depression, anxiety and stress.

    This was followed by neurological (headaches, dizziness and migraines) issues and then obstetrical/ gynaecological.

    MedAire also saw a change in the way in which cases were resolved by clients: In 2020, an increased number of cases, 76%, were managed onboard, compared with 64% in 2019. Brent Palmer, Director of Education at MedAire says that “the increase shows how seriously crew members worldwide have taken COVID-19 protocols: not risking a potential exposure onboard by going shoreside for a check up”.

    The only three categories that decreased in case numbers were oncological, gastrointestinal and non-communicable respiratory, the latter of which saw a 30% decrease, marked by a reduction in upper respiratory infections – which includes illnesses like the common cold, bronchitis and laryngitis. “As many of these types of infections are spread through hand-to-mouth contact, it shows that the Covid-19 precautions taken by many vessels, like mask wearing and regular hand washing, had a positive impact upon physical health onboard”.

    MedAire Director of Account Management Emma Deal says that, “as captains and owners continue to see the importance of having strong medical support in place for their crew and guests, they have increasingly turned to MedAire for guidance. Clients are aware of the risks and are seeking advice from trusted advisors to support them in mitigation strategies to protect crew and guests, whether that is providing guidance for onboard protocols, or consulting on how to choose the right COVID-19 testing solution for their vessel”.

    Many MedAire clients are now much more prepared to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks or even a future pandemic, and many of the lessons already learnt will remain important to crews in the years to come. For example, implementing a PCR testing solution onboard can be very costly, but many of the machines used for this are adaptable and can also be used to test for various other diseases.

    Dr Michael Braida, MedAire Regional Medical Director, Europe says that “the COVID-19 pandemic today requires a careful pre-disembarkation review of regions, countries, and ports. A number of popular yachting destinations rely heavily on tourism, and countries that previously had adequate healthcare systems in place, may no longer. For these reasons disembarkation for medical care is still, in many parts of the world, difficult to impossible, so the utilisation of health care professionals at MedAire, twinned with the right equipment and medication onboard allow for the safest voyage possible. As with any medical issue, early notification to a healthcare professional remains essential.”

    For further information contact:

    Luc HillSenior Marketing Executive, MedAire

    E: m +44 (0)7587 627 811

    Notes to editors


    About MedAire

    Over the next few months MedAire are launching their Healthy Yacht, Healthy Crew and Healthy Guests whitepaper series which share some of the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other medical insights gained from 30+ years of providing medical solutions for yachts. Sign up at

    MedAire, an International SOS Company, is the world’s leading medical assistance and travel safety service, used by over 50% of the world’s superyachts. For over 35 years we have been ensuring that owners, captains, crew and guests are prepared, capable and confident during medical and travel safety incidents, 24/7/365.

    [1] Full year data comparison.