Mission Briefs: October 2022

For the first time since the pandemic onset, traveler fears about COVID have dramatically subsided. Travelers are now saying their biggest fear or concern about travel abroad is having an injury or illness – but not a COVID-related illness. Since August 2022, apprehension about COVID dramatically dropped at a rate of 39%, down to 20% compared to 33% in late summer. A third of travelers (33%) said their biggest fear is suffering a non-COVID illness or injury followed by trip cancellation (13%), civil unrest (11%), being robbed (5%), natural disasters (3%) and nuclear attack (less than 1%).  

As COVID-19 fears subside and traveler confidence surges, people are returning to travel and Global Rescue is answering the service needs of travelers here and abroad without any disruptions. During an average month, 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.

Horseback Riding Accident in Idaho

A Maryland member required field rescue and medical evacuation following a horseback riding accident on a ranch in Idaho. Global Rescue was contacted and the member was transported by helicopter to a regional trauma center in Boise and admitted for evaluation and treatment of multiple injuries including a broken leg, rib and sternum fractures. The member needed surgery to repair a broken left leg by placing a titanium rod in his left femur. Several days later the member was deemed fit to fly. Global Rescue arranged for the member’s commercial air and ground transport as well as his medical escort. He successfully arrived home safely where he continues his recovery.

Paragliding Crash in Italy

A U.S. member needed Global Rescue medical evacuation following a paragliding accident in Italy. She was transported by local emergency support to a nearby hospital where an examination determined she had fractured two vertebrae and would require immobilization and possibly surgery. Her plight was further complicated after she tested positive for COVID and required quarantine for a minimum of 7 days per local law and policies. Global Rescue deployed a medical operations senior specialist to provide bedside advocacy on behalf of the member to ensure quality care during the medically required two-week immobilization orders for her back injuries. Once deemed fit to fly via commercial airline, Global Rescue provided business class seating and a medical escort. The member arrived safely home in the U.S. where she continues her recovery.

Frostbite on Mount Manaslu

An Argentine member climber needed airborne evacuation from Mount Manaslu showing debilitating symptoms including blurred vision, signs of frostbite, severe lethargy, inability to walk, and a dangerously low oxygen saturation level of 60% while using supplemental oxygen. Global Rescue initiated a helicopter field rescue and transport to a hospital in Kathmandu. Further medical examination diagnosed the member with grade 4 frostbite on all five right-hand fingers and grade 3 frostbite on one of his toes. The member was hospitalized for five days for frostbite treatment. During that time his other symptoms, including snow blindness, recovered. Cleared fit-to-fly, Global Rescue arranged for the member’s successful flights home.

Dengue Fever in Nepal

A Nepalese member was suffering from a high fever for several days when Global Rescue was alerted with a request for a field rescue from the Yak territory. The member reported his fever came and went but was accompanied by a headache, muscular pain and fatigued. He noted that his condition was not relieved with pain relievers. Considering the possibility of dengue fever, Global Rescue initiated a helicopter field rescue and transport to a Kathmandu hospital where the member was examined and diagnosed with Dengue Fever following confirmation through blood test results. He was ordered to continue managing his fever and pain with acetaminophen, keep up his fluids and rest. During a scheduled follow-up visit with his doctor several days later his recovery was progressing successfully and ordered to take another week’s rest.

Broken Hip in Rome

Following hospitalization for a broken hip and the subsequent surgery in Rome, a 68-year-old member was cleared fit-to-fly commercial with a medical escort by her physician. Global Rescue medical operations doctor concurred and arranged for a medical evacuation with business class airline seating and ground transportation to return to the member’s home of record in Florida for further care. The member arrived safely to continue her recovery.

Dangerous Deep Sea Fishing

A U.S. member was deep-sea fishing in Costa Rica when he suffered a back injury. He was examined and the treating physician diagnosed three rib fractures and compressed vertebrae. Global Rescue medical operations determined that the initial medical center was not equipped to manage the member’s medical imaging and treatment requirements. A medical evacuation was recommended and the member was transferred to a hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica capable of performing CT and MRI scans so he could continue his recovery.

Motorcycle Accident in Tunisia

An Australian member suffered an injury to his elbow following a motorcycle accident while traveling in Tunisia. X-ray imaging revealed his right elbow was broken, dislocated and would require surgery. Global Rescue medical operations reviewed the reports and recommended the member visit an orthopedic physician for further evaluation. While no concerns were identified, Global Rescue doctors initiated a medical evacuation via a commercial flight to the member’s home to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation. The member arrived in Melbourne, Australia safely where he continues his recovery.