Air and road ambulance FAQ: what clothes should you wear for the journey?

What clothes to wear for the repatriation

If you’re arranging a medical transport for a friend or loved one, the chances are you’re doing this for the first time.

The whole experience can feel completely daunting and overwhelming. Once you’ve given us the key patient details and booked the transport, EMScan take up the strain and everything becomes much, much easier.. But in the early stages, let’s be honest: there’s quite a lot to think about.

One of the questions people often ask about medical transports is a pretty fundamental one: what should we wear for the journey? Perhaps you’re planning to travel alongside your patient on the transport. Or maybe they’ll be travelling on their own (which is more usually the case), with the doctors and the crew looking after them from A to B. What clothing should they take with them?

The best clothes to bring

The advice here is really to keep it simple. Take casual clothes that will be comfortable for the whole journey. Some medical evacuations and ambulance trips can be quite long, with several changes at airports and road ambulance handover points, so it’s best to choose loose-fitting, easy-wear clothes. A t-shirt, sweater and jogging pants would be perfect. Loose-fitting clothes also mean the doctors can perform treatments easily on your patient if they need to. For example, if they need to fit a catheter or an intravenous (IV) drip before or during the journey. For footwear, slip-on shoes or trainers / sneakers are fine. If you have time, it’s worth packing a spare set of clothes too. You likely won’t need to use them, but it’s always good to have backup just in case.

If you need EMS’s help with clothing

It may sound surprising, but patients don’t always have clothing when we collect them for their transport. Quite often that’s because they were rushed to hospital before they had a chance to pack. Sometimes, sadly, it’s because they’re suffering from a psychiatric or mental health issue – a breakdown or drug-related psychosis – and have lost some of their clothes or their belongings. It sometimes also happens with elderly or infirm patients who become disoriented and aren’t able to provide themselves with clean or suitable clothing for travel. Whatever the reason, we always tell their families not to worry. We can take care of these kinds of situations too. Our paramedics are very happy to go out and buy a new set of clothes for the patient if necessary. Some years ago, one of our clients lost her shoes before she made it to hospital. She wasn’t in a fit state to leave the ward and her family weren’t able to travel out to be with her. So our flight crew went shopping and bought her a new pair of shoes for the journey.

What else should I pack?

Whether your patient is travelling by air ambulance, road ambulance or medical escort on a regular flight, bear in mind they can take up to 20kg of hand luggage with them on the journey. You might like to think about packing the following items for the trip:

Passport / Visa – if, like most patients, you’re travelling across borders

Prescriptions – any regular medication your patient needs to take

Washbag – a toothbrush, toothpaste, razor and body wash etc

Valuables – packable items (such as jewellery) that you don’t want to leave behind

Entertainment – a book, e-reader or tablet computer if the patient is well enough to use them

Contact us

Do you need any help or advice about how ambulance transports work and what to bring with you? Give our team a call any time, day or night, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. If you’re looking into pricing and need to know more, hop over to our easy-to-use cost calculator.

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