Case Study: Airlec Air Ambulance step up to help save a patient's life under tragic circumstances
Like many other couples, a 34-year-old Canadian tourist wanted to enjoy a few days off before the arrival of their baby, booking a so-called ‘babymoon’ on Malta – but things went wrong
After an uneventful flight, things quickly turned from great to worse as the female patient suddenly started to feel bleeding and cramps. Without hesitation, the husband took his wife to the nearby Maltese hospital, where the patient received a grave diagnosis. The 16-week-pregnant tourist has started to miscarry and was facing risk due to infection. The only way to protect her from these complications was to remove the placenta and foetus from her uterus – performing a full abortion. Whilst lifesaving, the patient soon faced a major obstacle – as the foetus’s heart was still beating, the procedure would be illegal in Malta. The patient was now stuck and faced a major dilemma, potentially costing her life.
Having reached out to her insurance company, the case was already being managed by the insurance’s assistance centre; however, due to the high medical risk and heavy media coverage involved, Airlec was informed that most air ambulance providers had declined the flight. Upon receiving the inquiry, Airlec’s medical director performed a thorough assessment to determine whether the patient would be in any condition to be transported safely to a country where the procedure would be performed. Due to Airlec’s excellent governmental and diplomatic connections and smooth partnership / communication with the insurance assistance centre, a bed in a specialised hospital in Spain could be confirmed, with doctors preparing to perform the abortion. It was clear, however, that this would be not only a critical medical mission due to the patient’s current condition, but that Airlec would be transporting a patient and her husband who had not only just learned that they would lose their child but that the wife herself was in potentially fatal circumstances. To assure the utmost comfort, Airlec’s leading female flight physician was put on the mission.
Upon confirming that the mission could be performed by Airlec, the operations team quickly sprang into action and had the Hawker 900XP wheels up within a few hours after notification. Airlec’s Medical Team had already contacted the patient beforehand, informing her about the high risk of transport and the further plan including the admission to a hospital in Spain. The patient consented to having the transport done and upon arriving in Malta, the Canadian tourist was safely brought to the aircraft, fully monitored and in stable yet concerning condition.
Accompanied by her husband, the aircraft took off and after an uneventful flight, was able to land in Spain safely.
The patient’s condition remained stable as she remained fully supervised with fluids and antibiotics given during the transport. Without incident, the patient was brought to the Spanish hospital, where doctors were already waiting to perform the emergency abortion to save the patient’s life. Thankfully, the patient was able to have the abortion performed and flew back to Canada a few days afterwards.
As the case was highly publicised in the media, the additional risk of receiving potentially bad coverage in case something does not go as planned has led to many providers declining the flight. Airlec was able to step up to make sure that the patient’s life was saved under these tragic circumstances.