It is said that age is just a number, which is true but proper care and attention is required after a certain age. A major portion of the population in the country is aging; if we take an example of US, 44.7 million population is over 65 years. Which means that one in every seven-person is above 65. Well, in spite of this, it has been seen that many geriatrics are happily traveling. The issue comes when an old age person falls sick or get injured when he is away from home and needs proper medical evacuation, then the medical crew faces a lot of challenges peculiar to the geriatric population.
The challenges comprise changes in the physical or psychological capabilities which may raise the risk of air transport. There are many air ambulance services which aid passengers like them and help in traveling by taking care of their needs to lessen the transport risk.
Listed are few tips for the geriatric patients to keep in mind while traveling-
Granting travel mate to fly along with the patient also provides comfort and aid in refocusing the patient, if required. Also, there are specially trained members in air ambulance which can help in boarding flight for the patient who is weak, so that he can travel easily.
2) Physiology- Old age patients might also undergo many different kinds of conditions which include respiratory insufficiencies, congestive heart failure and other chronic conditions that typically cause higher oxygen consumption during flight. Geriatric patients are more prone to altitude changes as compared to younger patients and usually, need some sort of oxygen while traveling to impede hypoxia. The benefit of an air ambulance is that oxygen is easily accessible to the patient and can be immediately given by the medical crew members if required.
3) Medication- Remedy mostly used during flight to lessen the anxiety and stress for young age patient is inappropriate to give to the geriatric patient. Physiological changes have a direct impact on how an elderly might react to such medications as drugs are made differently for this population. This is because of the increased sensitivity to some medications which may increase the prospect of delirium, cognitive impairment, increased anxiety, itching, and restlessness.
4) Skin Integrity- Doctors suggest that old age patients are more prone to skin breakdown while traveling. The flight staff also does a complete skin assessment before boarding flight to note if there are any areas of care. But because of the air ambulance services, you can relax as they do extra efforts to avoid skin breakdown by making sure that patients are placed on the padded stretcher where they stay till the time they are moved to a bed at their terminal. Constantly moving the patient during flight prevents skin breakdown and assures comfort during transport
5) Dehydration- Geriatric patients are at risk of dehydration while traveling. Liquids are given to them by mouth or intensely to assure that the patients are fully hydrated. The team members if the problem occurs, place scented lotions on the skin by hand massage so that the patient can relax and the skin gets hydrated.
Well, there can come a lot of challenges with geriatric patients while traveling but following a few tips and taking proper care can make transport easy and comfortable.
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