Transporting a patient in the Antarctic
On an afternoon in late 2021, Redpoint Travel Protection was contacted by a ship’s doctor advising that a Redpoint policyholder aboard a ship to Antarctica had a sudden cardiac event and required emergency medical evacuation
Although the onboard staff was able to initially manage the patient, the traveller’s health was rapidly deteriorating. The scenario was complicated by the fact that the ship was just over halfway through the Drake Passage but not yet close enough to Antarctica to launch an air ambulance. The weather was also poor. Redpoint obtained the marine tracker information to monitor the ship’s progress.
Redpoint worked with the medical team on board the ship throughout the night and through the next 24 hours to continuously monitor the patient’s medical condition and provide medical guidance. As the ship approached King George Island and the weather made transfer of the patient from the boat-to-land evacuation possible, an air evacuation was executed through a Redpoint network air ambulance provider. The traveller’s spouse was able to accompany the patient in the air ambulance
As the evacuation was being arranged, Redpoint deployed a Critical Care Paramedic from the US to meet the critically ill patient and their spouse in Chile. The paramedic arrived at the Chilean hospital shortly after the patient. Through the paramedic, the Redpoint Medical Team was able to successfully manage the patient’s care and provide needed interface between the patient’s partner and the local hospital staff.
When the patient required further transfer, Redpoint’s paramedic provided invaluable local support while Redpoint’s medical staff back home monitored the patient’s progress.