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Mission Briefs: July & August 2021


September 15, 2021
Categories: Safety, Health, In Action

During the arrival of the coronavirus outbreak and throughout the next year and a half, Global Rescue has answered the needs of travelers at home and abroad without any disruption of service. In a typical 30-day period, Global Rescue executes hundreds of operations in dozens of countries and principalities. Below are highlights from some of our most recent operations in various locations. 

Detached Retina in the Bahamas

When a member started experiencing blurred vision while traveling in the Bahamas, her husband called Global Rescue right away. When Global Rescue operations medical specialists noted the symptoms, they advised the member that the condition would require an evacuation to a facility with an ophthalmologist with a retinal specialty. Since an ophthalmology specialist was not available on the islands, an air evacuation with ground transport to a Miami, Florida hospital was arranged by Global Rescue. Upon arrival in Miami, ophthalmology specialists evaluated the member and diagnosed her with a detached retina of the right eye, and scheduled the recommended surgery. Fast action by Global Rescue likely prevented a more damaging outcome since prolonged retinal detachment can result in permanent vision loss.  

Paragliding Accident in Italy

paragliding-in-Italy

Paragliding is a fast-growing, recreational activity where a pilot sits in a harness below a lightweight, wing-shaped parachute and glides using the aerodynamic forces of the air. The sport is relatively safe with 26 accidents reported for every 100,000 jumps. Unfortunately, for a Bentonville, Arkansas member, his paragliding flight in Bassano del Grappa, Italy led to an ankle injury and a broken foot this summer. His wife called Global Rescue and he was immediately transported to a local hospital for treatment. Upon his release, Global Rescue rescheduled and upgraded return flights to the U.S., making certain medical recommendations for wheelchair provisions and business class seats were followed. 

Thrown From Car in Canada

Remote destinations can be beautiful, awe-inspiring getaways but if you get sick or injured then it can be difficult to get the help you need. When a Global Rescue member was traveling in Somerset Island, an uninhabited island of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, she was involved in a serious car accident, thrown out of the vehicle, and suffered a possible concussion with a through-and-through laceration of the upper lip. Global Rescue was immediately notified and arranged for medical evacuation when treating physicians realized that needed treatment was beyond the capability of the local medical facility. The member was transported to a higher level of care hospital where doctors diagnosed the member with a fractured left wrist, contusion on her left head and left thigh, and lacerated upper lip. She was treated and released fit to fly with no restrictions note.  

Dangerous Fever in Zimbabwe

Dangerous Fever in Zimbabwe

After days of nursing a fever during an African safari, Global Rescue was contacted by members of the expedition to request a medical evacuation for the Global Rescue member. After retrieving and analyzing all the available medical information about the member, Global Rescue’s medical operations team determined that an immediate medical evacuation was needed for the Michigan (U.S.) resident. After an initial period of hospitalization to stabilize the member, he was admitted for a prolonged period due to this illness requiring multiple surgeries, aggressive antibiotic therapy, and close monitoring in the ICU before being deemed fit to fly back to his home hospital of choice in the U.S.

Long Line Rescue in Pakistan

An avalanche on K2, the second-highest mountain on earth located in the Karakoram Range, struck a climbing party that included a Global Rescue member. The catastrophe trapped the member and another climber on an exposed face with no safe way to climb up or down in the unstable snowpack. Global Rescue was contacted and a long line helicopter rescue was immediately arranged. Both climbers were successfully rescued.  

Chopper Rescue in Wyoming

When you need two-way communication capability, and you’re out of cell phone range, then a satellite messaging device is what you need, especially in an emergency. The ACR Bivy Stick is one such option. It’s a satellite messaging device that pairs with your phone through Bluetooth so you can activate an SOS and reach Global Rescue for help. That’s what a Global Rescue member recently did when her traveling companion fell ill and needed a helicopter medical evacuation. The rescue operation was a success. The member was retrieved and transported to an appropriate nearby medical facility for recovery. 

Frostbite in Pakistan

Broad-Peak-in-Karakoram-Range

Broad Peak is the twelfth highest mountain in the world (26,401 feet/8,047 meters). Located in the Karakoram Range on the border of Pakistan and China, temperatures dip well below freezing and can be a danger to climbers. That’s what happened to a Global Rescue member who needed a helicopter evacuation after getting frostbite on his fingers and toes. The member’s climbing team assisted his descent to a lower altitude where a chopper could initiate the rescue. After being successfully transported to a nearby hospital, he was diagnosed with severe frostbite to his left hand extending to his metacarpals, and severe frostbite extending to the proximal phalanxes of his right hand. 

Bicycle Accident in Germany

Bicycle accidents are down in the U.S. and Germany, but they still happen. Global Rescue received an urgent call about a New Hampshire woman who sustained a fractured pelvis following a serious bicycle accident during a bike tour in Upper Bavaria, Germany. Thankfully, there were no signs of a concussion or head injury, but she could not stand or walk. She was admitted to a local medical care center and discharged several days later. After advising her to use crutches and keep pressure off her right hip, the Global Rescue operations team coordinated the member's return home and provided the necessary ground transportation in Germany and the U.S. 


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