Surviving a Plane Crash, and Getting Home Safely

07/12/2013 // Carson, CA, USA // LifeCare123 // Eva Hvingelby // (press release)

Surviving a plane crash is an overwhelming experience. If you are seriously injured, the first thing you need to do is listen to the doctors who are treating you. They will explain your injuries, your treatment plan, and tell you when you can travel safely again. Ask the medical team taking care of you to contact your regular physician. They can find out important information about your history and work together to get you home. Hospitals in the United States have a service called Discharge Planning. Ask to speak with a discharge planner and request their assistance. They understand insurance and can find additional resources to help you.

Support for Your Emotional Trauma

Going through a major trauma such as this will bring up many emotions you are not used to. It is normal to be in shock, experience intense mood swings, feel angry or afraid, and have sudden bouts of crying. The thought of getting on another airplane might be terrifying. Tell your treating doctor if you are experiencing any of these of emotions. They can find someone who understands to come and speak with you. These emotions happen to nearly everyone who has been through a traumatic experience. Your doctor can also prescribe medications that will make your trip home more comfortable.

Commercial Medical Transportation

Most commercial airlines can create a space on the plane for passengers who have injuries or disabilities. The airline you arrived on should be working with you, your family and your physicians to book travel home. If you will be traveling in a wheel chair, on crutches or if you have any other physical limitations, airport services can assist. The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) helps people who are traveling with medical conditions. “TSA Cares” is a specialized service for anyone with physical impairments. Call them 3 days before you travel at 1-855-787-2227. TSA will work together with key individuals at the airport to ensure your experience is comfortable. The goal of TSA Cares is that “all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated equally and with the dignity, respect, and courtesy they deserve.”

Medical Air Transport

Sometimes injuries can be so serious that you will not be able to fly home on a commercial airline. There are many medical air transport companies that can help you. Doctors and nurses are available on these flights; they provide oxygen and medications as needed, and you will be able to lie down on a stretcher for the whole trip. The hospital will need to work with your personal medical insurance and any travel insurance you may have. American Jets Inc., Air Critical Care, and Flying Nurses International are leading medical transport companies. Ask them to work with your insurance company or any legal service you’ve hired to provide a safe trip home.

You have been through a very traumatic experience that will affect you for a long time. Right now, work with your doctors and ask for the assistance you need. There are medical, social and legal advocates available to help you.

Transportation Safety Administration (2013) TSA Cares. Retrieved from: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-disabilities-and-medical-conditions

Donker, G., Yzermans, C., Spreeuwenberg, P. and van der Zee, J. (2002)Symptom attribution after a plane crash: comparison between self-reported symptoms and GP; British Journal Of General Practice; 52; 484; p917-p922

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