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Chris Potter 
Global Marketing Manager, MedAire 
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Travel Health & Safety Blog

A Crewmember Faces a Difficult Journey

Life for one crewmember unexpectedly changed overnight. But the expert assistance and care from MedAire's medical team eased a crippling journey.

It was three in the morning when a crewmember was abruptly awakened sweaty and in excruciating pain from her abdomen. She felt ill to her stomach and crawled her way to the bathroom to vomit. The crewmember's symptoms began on a flight earlier that day. An otherwise healthy individual, who had never taken a sick day at work, ignored her symptoms of fatigue and lack of appetite. She believed it was essential to remain calm and push through the night, despite feeling unwell because she had a call time at eight the following morning.

Her symptoms lasted until that next morning, so she took some over-the-counter pain medication and went on her day operating a complete cabin to her next destination. Although it was a challenge, she managed to power through an eight-hour flight. Upon arrival in the United States, she headed straight to her hotel to rest. Having never used MedAire's services before, the crewmember was reluctant to call but decided it was necessary. The crewmember finally decided to call MedAire and requested a hotel call doctor, but MedAire advised that she go to the emergency room. Feelings of anxiety grew as she was unaware of her condition and feared the worst. Finally, MedAire provided the crewmember with the details of a local hospital nearby and made travel arrangements. With an unfamiliar location, the crewmember felt relieved to have a team of medical experts to assist in a distressing medical emergency.

In the ER, the doctor conducted a CT scan of the patient and found inflammation in the stomach. The doctor diagnosed the crewmember with cancer following several medical tests. The American medical jargon was challenging for the crewmember to comprehend, but the MedAire team explained her diagnosis in clear, understandable terms. They explained that the mass growing in her colon was cancerous and that she would need surgery to remove it. In the aftermath of the devastating news, the crewmember wanted to return home to receive treatment, but MedAire advised against travel because the cabin pressure could lead to adverse health consequences, and there were minimal diversion options on the flight route home. MedAire advised the crewmember that it would be best to stay grounded and had undergone surgery. During the crewmember's hospitalization, MedAire ensured doctors provided all the necessary tests and treatments that led to a full recovery and retuned home.

The crewmember was extremely grateful for the care provided by the MedAire team and the excellent handling of her journey. She realized that medical troubles could happen to anyone, regardless of age or health. With MedAire's expert assistance, the crewmember caught her illness early and returned to the sky cancer-free. Crewmembers have strenuous schedules working long hours day and night. Therefore, healthy habits and routine checkups are critical to sustaining well-being and performance on duty. MedAire is devoted to the health and well-being of our patients, and it is MedAire's mission to ensure that our people live healthy, happy lives. Therefore, MedAire encourages crewmembers to call early and call often.


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