Vacations in Florida? How to get back home in case of an emergency- Your medical flight options.

If COVID-19 had taken a toll on tourism in Florida, the US state is now bouncing back and travel plans to the Sunshine State have topped pre-pandemic numbers. In 2021, after restrictions were lifted, over 670 million Americans booked a plane to enjoy the beaches and the sea and this year, this number is set to increase with Florida being one of the top summer travel destinations for millions of Americans and snowbirds, who have made their return.  

This article will explore some of the medical emergencies that may happen while you are on vacation in Florida, common ones being Covid-19, injuries such as fractures or strains and even high-risk illnesses like stroke or heart diseases. We will also look at the possible patient transport options from Florida in case of a medical emergency. 

passengers boarding plane

Top things to do during your summer vacation in Florida

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida was directing its resources towards rebuilding its tourism industry, domestic and international tourism being a vital contributor to its economy. Even while the US was shut down, Miami saw the opening of several hotels and new attractions and following a massive marketing campaign targeted toward Americans, new airline routes to Miami were introduced. 

Americans planning to spend their summer vacation in Florida will have a multitude of experiences to enjoy. Here are the top things to do during your vacation in Florida in 2022. 

  • Visit Orlando and its exciting theme parks! Besides the iconic Wizarding World of Harry Potter, do not miss Disney’s 50th anniversary which will last till Spring 2023 and the new Peppa Pig Theme Park.

  • The art district Wynwood in Miami has become a trendy attraction for tourists. Admire street art like nowhere else on the iconic Wynwood wall which is a public green space, allowing you to experience the heart of Miami. Do not forget the nightlife, luxurious hotels and pristine beaches in Miami.

  • South Beach in Miami has been made iconic because of movies and celebrities, its scenic shoreline and nightclubs where you can party all night long. You will also relish its eclectic mix of restaurants and celebrity-chef eateries! 

  • Fort Lauderdale, which is famous globally, has beaches with miles and miles of glittering sands. From rollerblading to sunbathing, boating, surfing or even diving, you will have fun with its coastline activities. 

  • Sanibel Island, known as the ‘Shelling Capital of the World’ for its unique shells, is where you have to go if you are looking for a laid-back and quiet family vacation and an escape from city life. 

COVID-19 while on vacation in Florida 

As and when this article was written, the state’s strategy to prevent a complete decline in tourism in Florida was to adopt a pro-business, anti-lockdown and anti-mask approach. While this has allowed the tourism sector to flourish, it has raised concerns about coronavirus, especially with the emergence of the Omicron and BA.2 variant. 

Health officials in Florida have revealed an increase in the number of cases However, the infections are considered to be less severe than those caused by previous variants. At the time of writing,19th of May 2022, the BA.2 variant is the dominant strain in the Southeastern region of the US, making up 72% of the total number of cases. With the easily-transmissible Omicron BA.2 variant, coronavirus hospitalization numbers in Florida have reached above pre-omicron levels. 

Considering the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Florida, it is essential to get travel insurance or medical insurance with COVID-19 coverage when planning your vacation in the Sunshine State. This will help you cover the costs related to medical emergencies or even medevac charges in case you become infected with COVID-19 during your vacation. 

coronavirus

Common injuries among Americans on vacation in Florida 

Adequate insurance is also going to be helpful in other medical emergencies as well. Injuries and diseases are misfortunes that vacationers in Florida often have to deal with. Some common causes of injuries are accidents (auto, pedestrian, bike…), slips and falls, and hazards occurring in recreational parks.

It is needless to point out that the severity of an injury following an accident cannot be predicted, ranging from mild to deadly. Some common injuries that may happen while you are on vacation in Florida are: 

  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Strains, sprains and other soft tissue injuries
  • Lacerations, puncture wounds and cuts
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury

Common diseases among Americans on vacation in Florida

The risk of being sick is higher while you are on vacation since you are adopting another lifestyle and you are being exposed to a whole new environment. Besides the dominating COVID-19 and the common sunburn, heat stroke and dehydration that can be the cause of many horror stories, Americans on vacation in Florida must also take into consideration high-risk diseases. 

Some high-risk medical emergencies that may occur while you are on vacation in Florida are: 

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  • Complications related to diabetes 
  • Chronic liver disease

What happens if you are sick or injured while on vacation in Florida?

In the midst of enjoying your summer vacation, you suddenly fall sick, get injured or become infected with COVID-19… What happens next? The most evident course of action is to get emergency care in a healthcare facility in Florida. But is this an efficient long-term solution, especially in cases of high-risk diseases and injuries? The answer for many Americans is ‘No’. 

While the US in general is famous for its quality specialist care and treatment, according to a Commonwealth Fund analysis released in 2020, Florida’s health system is ranked among the worst in the nation. With the prevalent COVID-19 crisis, hospitals are now crowded, even overpopulated, with COVID-19 patients, increasing the strain on healthcare professionals. Consequently, most Americans deem it a better option health-wise to return home to higher-quality care and treatment in case of a medical emergency while they are in vacation in Florida. Added to this the fact that they have a stronger support system with their friends and family being close, medical repatration back home seems to be the only solution in many cases. 

heart attack

How to get back home from Florida if you are sick or injured on vacation? 

In case of a mild injury or sickness, you can get back home from Florida by booking a plane ticket or driving, depending on your location. Nonetheless, cutting a vacation short implies that you have undergone a more complex medical emergency, one which prevents you from enjoying your vacation and in many cases from flying commercially. Some examples are: 

  • A recent heart attack
  • A recent stroke
  • A punctured lung 
  • Any severe long term disease that affects your breathing
  • Increased pressure in your brain due to bleeding or an injury.
  • An ear infection
  • An injury that requires you to lie down at all times
  • An infectious disease including COVID-19
  • Any complication requiring constant medical supervision

It is also not recommended to fly commercially after a recent surgery. Nonetheless, despite a medical emergency that prevents you from boarding a commercial flight, Medical Air Service can help you out by organizing your medical repatriation

Medical repatriation via an air ambulance from Florida 

The safest and most efficient medical repatriation option to your country from Florida for serious injuries and illnesses is via air ambulances. Medical Air Service has a fleet of air ambulances that are fitted with the latest medical equipment. This, combined with the fact that there are doctors and paramedics on board the medical plane, ensures that patients are taken care of throughout their medical flight. 

Medical Air Service’s air ambulances are equipped with the latest medical equipment, including special isolation devices that can transport COVID-19 positive patients, without any risk of infecting others. Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic can also fly on our private jets. They will travel on their own, without any contact with other passengers or cabin crew. 

Medical repatriation from Florida with a medical escort on a commercial flight 

Mild illnesses and injuries that do not require intensive medical care and supervision do not always need the deployment of an air ambulance. Depending on the severity of their medical condition, Americans in Florida can fly back home on a commercial flight accompanied by a medical escort

A medical escort is a health professional who will accompany the patient on a scheduled flight from a commercial airliner. He will monitor the patient’s condition throughout the flight and will assist him, providing emergency care if needed. 

There is also the option of flying on a stretcher on a commercial flight. However, the installation of a stretcher on a commercial plane depends on the airliner’s approval. It may take one or two days for the company to reach a decision, after which they may refuse to have the patient onboard. As such, this option is suitable if you do not need to get back home urgently. 

medical escort

Benefits of booking a medical escort with Medical Air Service

When booking a medical escort with Medical Air Service, you can enjoy several benefits such as:

  • Expert assistance right from your hotel/apartment in Florida to your doorstep
  • Assistance while checking in and boarding the plane
  • Constant supervision during the flight
  • Emergency treatment and care in case of a complication or emergency during the flight
  • Reassurance of a stress-free flight for the patient and his family 
  • An expert carefully chosen according to your needs, specifications and personality
  • A medical professional, who will also act as a companion, providing comfort 

Booking an air ambulance from Florida with Medical Air Service

 Booking a medical flight with Medical Air Service implies several extra benefits that will take care of your safety and convenience all throughout the air ambulance trip. The process begins with us taking care of everything after just your initial call. To book an air ambulance or a medical escort with us, you just have to contact one of our aviation experts. We will assess your situation, advise you on the best solution for you and provide you with a free, non-obligation quotation

After coming to an agreement, we will begin arranging the patient transport process, taking care of administrative processes such as permits, etc. Moreover, thanks to our bed-to-bed service, you do not have to worry about arranging for ground transportation to the airport in Florida and at your destination as well. A ground ambulance will pick you up from your hotel/apartment in Florida and take you to the airport where the air ambulance will be waiting for you. 

Benefits of booking an air ambulance from Florida with Medical Air Service 

Booking an air ambulance with Medical Air Service offers a whole set of advantages which ultimately leads to a stress-free and safe medevac. Some of the benefits of our air ambulances are:

  • Ambulances planes fitted with the latest medical equipment, equivalent to that in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Medical professionals, a doctor and a paramedic, onboard the air ambulance
  • Extra equipment or specialist doctors based on your condition 
  • Customised solution based on your needs
  • Departure date schedule as per your convenience
  • No waiting time during check-in
  • Expert advice from an aviation expert
  • Departure from small airports otherwise inaccessible by commercial flights
  • Dedicated agent for your case

ambulance plane

Contact us for a medical flight in Florida 

Our aviation experts are working round the clock to assist you in arranging a medical flight from Florida. You can get in touch with them on any day and at any time, explain your situation and benefit from a free consultation session. Contact them:

Back to overview