Jungle emergency evacuation from Honduras
Anneke was backpacking with her sister through Central America and taking a jungle experience in Honduras. Her injuries were sustained when she went on a “canopy tour” and collided with something at speed. She and her sister were covered with an annual multi trip travel insurance.
We received a call from the tour leader advising that Anneke had sustained an extensive and severe compound fracture and the left foot was nearly severed. There was exposed bone and tendon. Although in a lot of pain she was conscious and could communicate. We established her injuries of a complex bilateral fractured pelvis, 2 broken lower legs - her vital signs and current medical intervention as well as her blood loss status.
We identified the facilities available in the area. We notified the relevant authorities and confirmed we were assisting Anneke. We immediately notified our local International Assistance Group partner company to confirm the medical capability in the area.
Concurrently we started our emergency evacuation planning and logistics, as well as liaising with Anneke’s sister. Anneke’s parents were in France. We located the doctor in charge at her admission hospital and did an urgent conference call involving our Medical Consultant, our Registered Nurse, an interpreter and the treating doctor to verify Anneke’s current medical situation and medical needs as well as confirming the capability of that facility.
Our Medical Consultant confirmed that the hospital did not have the appropriate capability to treat Anneke adequately and she needed to be moved ASAP by Air Ambulance with a Medical Team to the Miami, USA. Her fractured pelvis and other severe injuries put her at high risk of internal bleeding and severe complication of bleeding. She would need high level technical expertise to manage her multiple fractures.
Our Medical Case Manager and Registered Nurse conducted a complete nursing assessment to ensure confirmation of Anneke’s condition, pain levels and her functional status as well as her wounds. We were in constant contact updating her sister of the planning and trying to reassure and support her emotionally and practically.
As per Standard Operating Procedure our team concurrently managed the medical side using our Registered Nurses and medical consultants. We kept in 2 hourly contacts with the doctor and medical staff in Honduras to monitor her condition whilst our case managers organised the admission and air ambulance transfers.
Anneke was transferred to Miami where she underwent multidisciplinary surgeries and extensive treatment and medial resuscitative treatment. We organised for our USA International Assistance Group partner to get regular medical updates from the Miami team and local medical providers.
When it became apparent that it there was no clear time frame when Anneke would be fit enough to travel on a regular passenger flight even if she were accompanied by a medical team and stretcher, we organised an Air Ambulance transfer with full medical team to Australia. We had already organised a road ICU ambulance to meet Anneke’s Air Ambulance and take her for direct admission to a tertiary referral hospital in Sydney. She underwent further treatment. We organised payment of all medical bills, Air Ambulances, Road Ambulance transfers and the sister’s accommodation including luggage transfer costs.
When we spoke with Anneke recently we were delighted to hear that she was due to return to work at the end of February.
Read Michelle’s story, who was on a holiday in Bali with her husband, when she fell down 9 feet on concrete due to a rotten balcony railing.