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Commercial Medical Escorts Blog

Our CME blog will keep you aware of what is going on within the aero medical transport industry and the latest news for Commercial Medical Escorts. Every week we have nurses and doctors in different areas of the world. Each of our medical team members are providing excellent patient care and assisting patients with different medical needs. While one nurse may be in Indonesia caring for a patient with a hip fracture, another nurse can be in Thailand tending to a patient that recently experiences a mild stroke. Our medical blog is a way for you to get an insight to the air medical transportation that we provide.

Vaccines While Traveling Abroad

by Blake 22. July 2017

Before traveling abroad, it is important to be aware of the vaccines that are necessary for your destination.  Vaccines act as a passport to safety and adventure around the world.  It is vital to protect yourself and your community by getting vaccinated before you travel.

            The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is very important for travelers.  Every year, unvaccinated travelers get measles and bring it back to the United States.  CDC Travel Health Site provides a guideline for the MMR vaccine:

·      For those who travel internationally, CDC recommends that all U.S. residents older than 6 months be protected from measles and receive MMR vaccine, if needed, prior to departure.   

·      Infants 6 through 11 months old should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine before departure.

·      Children 12 months of age or older should have documentation of 2 doses of MMR vaccine (separated by at least 28 days).

·      Teenagers and adults without evidence of measles immunity should have documentation of 2 appropriately spaced doses of MMR vaccine.

 

Travel Tips for traveling to developing countries:

- Before traveling to countries in Africa or Central/South America it is vital to research whether the yellow fever vaccine is required.

- If traveling to Asia, Latin America, or Africa, travelers may need to get the typhoid vaccine.

-Whenever traveling to any rural or developing countries to ensure your safety research any possible vaccines that may be recommended.

-To avoid possible health dangers, only eat fully cooked food that is served hot (including fruits and vegetables, unless you can wash and clean them yourself).

- Only eat and drink pasteurized dairy products.

-Drink only beverages that are bottled with an unbroken seal (avoid putting ice in your drinks).

-Use insect repellent and make sure you sleep in an air conditioned or screened room to avoid any diseases that can be spread by insects.

-Avoid touching animals especially monkeys, dogs, and birds.

 

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Travel Tips

Long TSA Lines

by Blake 17. May 2016

As the summer season comes around each year, airports become more crowded and security wait times become longer, making travel much more difficult and stressful.  Commercial Medical Escorts moves patients from country to country, but travel around the United States is still very popular.  As families and friends get ready to go on vacation, CME reminds you to be aware of extensive airport lines and to plan accordingly for your travels.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says “a loss of thousands of employees in 2014 that the agency has yet to replace” (CNN) is the cause of the long lines in airports.   The following busiest airports (recorded by total passengers boarded):

1. Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

2. Los Angeles International Airport

3. O'Hare International Airport

4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

5. John F. Kennedy International Airport

6. Denver International Airport

7. San Francisco International Airport

8. Charlotte Douglas International Airport

9. McCarran International Airport

10. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

At Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, officials are recommending that passengers arrive up to three hours early before departure to guarantee enough time for them to catch a flight.  Security lines tend to stretch through the terminal atrium, and sometimes, through baggage claim.  Wait times at TSA checkpoints reach between half an hour and an hour long, and occasionally longer.  On May 9th, the peak security wait time at Atlanta was sixty-two minutes.

Due to many complaints from travelers and airlines, Atlanta airport officials criticized TSA for the long security lines and blamed the wait on a decrease in the amount of staff.  In fact, problems at TSA stem from negative public and congressional opinion, low employee count, high employee layoff, and investigations of misconduct. TSA administrator Peter Neffenger told Congress that TSA is struggling with a 10 percent attrition rate, meaning that there are about 5000 fewer screening officers on the job today than a few years ago.  Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security promised that executives would be taking immediate action to expand the amount of members in the TSA workforce in order to ensure more efficient security checkpoints.  TSA received an approval of $34 million from Congress to re-allocate funds to increase security officers at checkpoints. Around $26 million will go to overtime and part-time hours, and $8 million will go towards hiring new officers in May 2016, just in time before the busy summer travel months.

 

Travel Tips:

1.     Monday morning and evening and Friday morning and evening are when the majority of business travelers are flying out. To avoid this rush time, if available, book midday flights throughout the week to avoid long lines.

2.     Tuesday and Wednesday are known for being the slowest days of the week in airports.

3.      Arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights.

4.     Highways are generally busiest either early morning or early evening on the weekdays, so allot your time accordingly.

5.     Enroll in TSA PreCheck.  Approved members go through special lines, do not have to remove shoes, belts, or jackets, and do not have to take laptops and liquids out of bags.

6.     Enroll in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program.  This program makes international travel easier and quicker and provides eligibility for the TSA PreCheck program.

CME will continue to monitor this problem as it severely impacts CME clients, nurses, and travelers.  As summer approaches soon, CME warns about long security lines and hopes for safe and smooth travels.

Real ID Act to Pose Challenges for Many Travelers

by Lux Joseph 18. September 2015

Since 911, America has seen an increase in airport security and the process by which passengers need to follow in order to travel within the United States and abroad. These changes came about to increase safety and security for US Citizens, and the US government is continuing to work on making sure our safety is a high priority.

At Commercial Medical Escorts (CME), safety is also our number one priority. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest level of care, while keeping patient safety at the forefront of each and every decision that is made. We look into the safety of not only the patients, but also our escorts that serve on each mission around the world. As changes are made surrounding airline safety as well as travel requirements we ensure they have the most up to date information.

Since 2005, the US Government has slowly been implementing and enforcing a variety of new rules to traveling to comply with the 2005 Real ID Act. Beginning in 2016 there is a select group of states in which residents will be required to travel with a passport, even on domestic travel. Currently the following states that will follow under these guidelines are:

  • ·      Massachusetts
  • ·      Minnesota
  • ·      New Hampshire
  • ·      Louisiana
  • ·      Wisconsin
  • ·      New York
  • ·      American Samoa

The driver’s licenses and state IDs from the aforementioned states above are not compliant with the Real ID standards and this is why they are requiring those residents to travel with their passports. While all of our nurses, physicians, paramedics, and travel companions carry passports, this is not the case for all Americans.  It does not appear to be clear as to why the states above do not meet the requirements, but the US government believes this is a vital component of our national security framework that needs to be complied with at all levels.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on enforcement of the Real ID Act,

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on December 20, 2013 a phased enforcement plan for the REAL ID Act (the Act), as passed by Congress, that will implement the Act in a measured, fair, and responsible way.

Secure driver’s licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government ‘set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.’ The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.  The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, no sooner than 2016, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

States and other jurisdictions have made significant progress in enhancing the security of their licenses over the last number of years. As a result, approximately 70-80% of all U.S. drivers hold licenses from jurisdictions: (1) determined to meet the Act’s standards; or (2) that have received extensions. Individuals holding driver’s licenses or identification cards from these jurisdiction may continue to use them as before. 

Individuals holding licenses from noncompliant jurisdictions will need to follow alternative access control procedures for purposes covered by the Act.  As described below, enforcement for boarding aircraft will occur no sooner than 2016.”

Under the final phase, which will begin "no sooner than 2016," residents of "non-compliant" states will no longer be allowed to present state-issued driver's licenses as identification for air travel, but instead will be required to present "alternative forms of identification – such as a U.S. Passport." It is up to those states that are not in compliance, working with the federal government, to come up with a solution to this problem.

Implementation of REAL ID has been repeatedly delayed over the past 10 years to provide additional time for states to comply, and it is possible that further extensions could be granted. DHS has promised that before this final phase is implemented, it "will conduct an evaluation to inform a fair and achievable timeline. The date for implementing Phase 4 will be set after the evaluation has been complete; this phase will occur no sooner than 2016...DHS will ensure the public has ample advanced notice before identification requirements for boarding aircraft."

Given that not being able to use a driver's license to board an airplane for domestic travel could prove extremely disruptive to residents and travel businesses in the non-compliant states.

CME will continue to monitor this situation as it impacts our nurses, physicians, paramedics, and travel companions, but also the patients and their family members that we bring home. Prior to any transport, our team ensures that we check all travel documents to ensure you have all the necessary documents to ensure a smooth journey back to your home.

http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief


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