An increased focus on corporate duty of care legalities has seen a number of businesses start to re-evaluate their emergency management strategies. It is no longer acceptable to claim each situation is unique and therefore pre-planned preparation is impossible. Companies are working with TMC’s to access the latest traveller tracking technology, allowing them to identify exactly where their people are at any given time. This enables them to send push notifications and messages to their travellers mobile devices, providing instruction on what they should do next. This is ideal in the event of industrial action, cancelled flights, long delays, even natural disasters and terrorist attacks. But what about situations whereby your traveller is incapacitated due to sickness, injury or a medical emergency? How would your company deal with these scenarios?
When faced with a medical emergency, the clock is ticking! A recent article in The Business Travel Magazine told how one company had a traveller in a remote part of Brazil who developed thrombosis. The patient was given a 50/50 chance of survival and just 24hrs to receive specialist treatment, after which time critical organs would start to fail. Specialist surgery was required but the closest hospital equipped to perform such an operation was 3,000km away in Sao Paulo. It was no longer a medical emergency it was a life or death situation.
How would your company respond ?
Fortunately the company featured was able to call upon the services of its assistance provider and they immediately sprang into action.
Not only did they arrange and manage an air evacuation they also deployed a bi-lingual assistant to accompany the patient. They arranged for an ambulance and medical crew to be standing by when the plane touched down, transporting the patient directly to the hospital. Given the life or death stakes they also arranged a back-up evacuation plan to make sure they were equipped to deal with any unforeseen complications that may have occurred in the initial evacuation process. The patient had been given just 24hrs to undergo the necessary treatment, but thanks to a perfectly executed emergency management plan treatment was underway in just 12hours.
Fortunately this company had taken all the necessary steps to ensure they were covered for such an eventuality. However, many businesses are still unprepared, convinced that the odds of this sort of thing happening are so high that time and money spent on risk management is wasted. As this case highlights preparation can often be the difference between life and death.
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