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Medical Escort via Rail

by Lux Joseph 8. November 2013

Do you have a family member that needs to return home with a medical escort, but flying is not an option? Commercial Medical Escorts wants you to know that there are alternative ways in which we transport patients. A majority of our cases are patients who are transported home on a commercial airline, but each and every month we are faced with a case, in which the patient is unable to fly due to their diagnosis, maybe they have a fear of flying or potentially another obstacle. For these particular situations, CME is able to transport the patient back home by train, ambulance, bus, town car/limo, and even wheelchair vans.

CME will always explore each option available to ensure the best means of transportation has been selected for the patient to ensure quality patient care and comfort. You may have a patient that is 100% non-ambulatory that needs to go from Fort Lauderdale to New York. The patient needs to remain lying flat at all times. A flight is obviously not an option. An ambulance or limousine is a possibility, but you are looking at 20 hours of ground transport with a stop or two along the way to ensure quality rest of the drivers. Not to mention that the cost will be several thousand dollars. Why not consider Amtrak? A single train transport with no switching trains and generous accommodations can put you in New York in approximately 27 hours. The length of the transport may seem long, but your patient can be comfortably situated in an accessible bedroom for under $1,000.00 per ticket. Our clinician asked our patient that was recently transported by train what she thought of the experience and her reply was “This was easier and more comfortable than I ever would have expected. As a patient you have all kinds of concerns going through your mind, but having a smooth transfer and a clinician to provide the needed support, the process is effective and puts you at ease.”

CME’s travel department has a special working relationship with Amtrak and their special services desk. Whenever a patient is transport whether it is by plane or train, having a great relationship with the operator of the mode of transportation allows a smooth transition for the patient. Very similar to the airlines, Amtrak is able to provide wheelchair assistance, accessible cabin rooms, and other special services that are specific to the needs of the patients we transport. Those travelers that travel in a roomette or bedroom are served complimentary meals throughout the journey. This past week one of our clinicians transported a patient from Washington, DC back to Florida on Amtrak. The PT had an accessible bedroom and the clinician had a connection room adjacent to the patient. An accessible bedroom is large enough for standard wheelchair to fit without issues. All the amenities including the bathroom are designed to meet the needs of those travelers with disabilities.

Patient safety and comfort is our number one priority at Commercial Medical Escorts. Understanding the different resources and methods of transports available help us to better meet the needs of our patients. Amtrak could be the option for your patient and our medical team will determine if they qualify for rail transfer. Medical escort via rail can offer substantial cost savings and CME looks forward to assist you with making that happen.



Impact on Today's Shooting at Los Angeles International Airport

by Lux Joseph 1. November 2013

Almost every individual that has traveled before will probably tell you that there is stress involved. Whether it is the beginning stages of planning a trip, packing, or the actual day of travel; stress finds its way to be part of the process. However, today’s recent events at Tom Bradley Los Angeles International Airport bring a level of stress and anxiety that no passenger wishes to face. An individual opened fire today in Terminal 3 at Los Angeles Airport. At this time the suspect is in custody, but what does this mean for the travel industry and how does it impact the safety system in place at airports around the world.

The motive behind the suspect is unknown at this time, but based on statements from travelers and the beginning stages of the investigation, TSA may a key reason.  A 23 year old, now identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia of Los Angeles is responsible for this elevated level of fear and anxiety, injured lives of innocent people, and the death of one TSA employee. The suspect was found with a note on him stating his disappointment in the government and that he had not intentions to harm innocent individuals. Whenever you travel, there are always travelers complaining about the security process, TSA’s procedures and policies, and the tedious requests that are made of travelers by TSA. Many people forget the reason that TSA was established and the purpose it serves our country.

TSA was developed shortly after the 911 attacks in 2001 and has played a role ever since to improve the safely of American transportation. Over the years the security of traveling within the USA has changed in efforts to create a safer place to travel to/from. TSA secures the nation’s airports and screens all commercial airline passengers and baggage. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that authorities stated the gunman would approach individuals in the terminal with the rifle pointing at them and ask if they were TSA. If they said no, he would move on without pulling the trigger. Once he reached the security checkpoint, it was open fire in which three TSA employees were shot and several more injured. As of right now there is one confirmed death. This particular individual was considered to be a behavior-detection officer. They are the ones that are looking for odd or unusual behavior among travelers to help identify terrorists. This one TSA officer "It's with a very, very sad heart that I inform you that one of our own has lost his life today," said David Cox, president of American Federation of Government Employees. "To our knowledge, he was the first (TSA officer) to die in the line of duty."

As this news was announced, CME identified its current transports and upcoming transports to determine if and how it would affect our patients we are bringing home safely. At the time we had one transport arriving into Los Angeles within 48 hours and another one connecting through. Although the incident wasn’t affecting our current or upcoming trips, it certainly affected many other travelers. Reports noted the following affected flight data:

• Over 118 flights en route to LAX were canceled or rerouted
• 135 flights scheduled to depart from LAX were canceled
• 127 flights were delayed at least fifteen minutes

The impact that a ten minute event can cause is shocking. Although the shooting only lasted approximately ten minutes, the effects on individuals will last for days. Even several hours later, people were still coming out from places in which they hid.

Ever since 2001, there has been a fear in flying for all passengers. Even before 2001, most people believed the risks of something happening when traveling by air was more likely than any other type of transportation. Incidents like the one that occurred today will once again give TSA and United States Government an opportunity to look at the safety processes in place and see how we can improve them in the future.  

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