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Jungle adventure leads to medical evacuation

Emergency medical evacuation from Honduras

Total claim: $488,811

Anneke was backpacking with her sister through Central America, when on a jungle experience in Honduras she hit a tree whilst on a flying flox, sustaining numerous injuries. Both she and her sister were covered with a Cover-More annual multi trip travel insurance policy.

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, exposing bone and tendon. Although in a lot of pain she was conscious and could communicate. We established her injuries included a complex bilateral fractured pelvis and 2 broken lower legs. We also confirmed her vital signs and current medical intervention as well as her blood loss status.

Through our extensive International Assistance Group data base, our Emergency Assistance team established the facilities available in the area. We then notified DFAT and confirmed we were assisting Anneke.

We began the emergency medical evacuation planning and logistics, liaising with Anneke's sister and her parents in France.

Our Medical Consultant and our Registered Nurse consulted with the treating doctor through an interpreter to verify Anneke's current medical situation and needs, as well as confirming the capabilities of the hospital.

Our Medical Consultant confirmed that the hospital did not have the appropriate capability to treat Anneke adequately, and she urgently needed to be moved by air ambulance with a medical team to Miami, USA. Anneke had a fractured pelvis and other severe injuries that put her at high risk of internal bleeding, which could result in severe complications. She would need high level technical expertise to manage her multiple fractures.

Our Medical Case Manager and Registered Nurse conducted a complete assessment to confirm Anneke's condition, pain levels, her functional status and wounds. We remained in continuous contact with her family, updating her sister of the medical evacuation progress, trying to reassure and support her emotionally.

We maintained regular contact with her treating doctor and nurses in Honduras to monitor her condition while our Case Managers organised her air ambulance transfer and admission to the hospital in Miami.

Anneke was transferred to Miami where she underwent multidisciplinary surgeries, extensive and medial resuscitative treatment. We organised for our USA International Assistance Group partner to obtain regular updates from the Miami team and local medical providers. As there was no indication of when Anneke would be fit enough to travel on a regular passenger flight, even on a stretcher accompanied by a medical team, we organised an air ambulance transfer with a full medical team to Australia.

We had already organised a road ICU ambulance to meet Anneke's Air Ambulance and take her directly to a tertiary referral hospital in Sydney where she underwent further treatment. We organised payment of all medical bills, air ambulances, road ambulance transfers and her sister's accommodation and 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.

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