SEARCH BLOG: TRAVEL
Americans take for granted that if they become ill or are hurt in an accident that they can simply go to a local hospital and receive the care they require. For the most part, that is the case. It's not until they travel to another country that they might become aware of the differences in the way injuries are handled.
Recently, some friends of ours traveled to Portugal. They were touring an old church when the wife stepped backward and lost her balance. She landed on a hard floor and broke her hip in a couple of places. Had the accident happened in the U.S., she would have been taken to a facility where an operation would have inserted plates and screws/pins in her hip bones and secured them so that no further injury would occur and gotten her mobile again very quickly. In Portugal, she was taken to the best hospital in the area where they told our friends that they could only put her in traction for six weeks and then she would need an operation after that.
They opted to have her flown back to the U.S. in a small plane with barely enough room for the stretcher, the medical staff, and some extra gasoline tanks stored inside. After a long an indirect route, they returned to Florida where she had the operation. It's been a just few weeks, but they are here in Michigan opening up their summer cottage for the season.My daughter-in-law and another young woman who has been her friend for quite awhile took a business trip/vacation to Argentina last week. In the middle of the night, the friend went to the bathroom and slipped on a marble floor. She broke her jaw. The local hospital said they could treat her by wiring her jaw shut, but there could be problems later.
She opted to return to the U.S. for treatment. Fortunately, the hotel covered the emergency return trip in first class... and hopefully she had adequate pain medications because the pressure changes on an airplane can make a broken bone very painful.It's unusual to be made aware of this issue this way. My wife and I have traveled to Europe and never even thought about it. I'm sure that there are plenty of wonderful hospitals in Europe, just as there are some fairly basic facilities in the U.S. Still, whether one is traveling from or to the U.S., it is probably a good idea to know what your options are if you are injured.