Is it possible to take a repatriation flight after a stroke?

Anyone who finds themselves in a medical emergency needs to know they can get to the right treatment as quickly as possible. When that emergency happens in a foreign country, however, there are a lot more unknowns involved.

This can be a particular concern when it comes to strokes, where the range of symptoms can be varied and which may need complex care. Strokes also need to be monitored closely, especially in the early stages. For these reasons, patients often want to get themselves back home to start treatment and begin their recoveries.

Repatriation flight after a stroke

Can I fly after a stroke?

The short answer is yes, you can – although the timing will depend on a few different factors. One is the seriousness of your medical situation and whether we can clear you to fly on a commercial airline with a qualified medical escort,, or by Air Ambulance. But with the right permissions and medical support in place, it’s possible to fly home even within six or seven days of the initial incident.

Getting back home with a private Air Ambulance

For serious cases, EMS Air Ambulance & Medical Repatriation can arrange to repatriate you on an ambulance jet or private plane with a medical support team and specialist equipment. All of our aircraft have been specially modified so that we can carry out emergency medical care in transit if we need to. It’s a ‘bed-to-bed’ service where we’ll collect you by road ambulance before the flight and take you to your chosen hospital once you’ve arrived back in your home country. This includes a handover where all the medical information will be shared with the receiving hospital.

Travelling on a commercial flight with a medical escort

If our Medical Director gives you the go-ahead after discussing your medical situation with the treating doctor, we can also take you on a regular commercial flight. This can be a very quick way to get back home for treatment without the costs and logistical issues involved in some private flights. Medical escort following a stroke is often possible for patients who are well enough to be taken in a wheelchair for at least part of the journey, though in certain cases it's possible to transport patients by stretcher too. If you or a relative find yourself in this situation, it’s worth considering this as an option.

The service works like this: drop us a line and within 24 to 48 hours, we’ll send a qualified doctor or critical care paramedic (or even a team of medics) to collect you from your hospital or accommodation and take you to the airport. For the rest of the journey, EMS Air Ambulance & Medical Repatriation will act as your personal support team. We’ll settle you onto the plane and make sure you’re comfortable for the flight. We’ll also bring medications and equipment with us in case they’re needed. This includes pain relief medicine and a concentrated oxygen supply on standby.

We also handle everything that’s needed for the flight – not just the tickets, but the special medical clearance that you may need from the airline you’re travelling with (a medical acceptance form, or MEDA). EMS Air Ambulance & Medical Repatriation is well-known to many of the best-known carriers in the business. We’re also ‘Doctors on Board’ with Lufthansa for instance.


Do you need to know more about repatriation after a stroke? We’re always happy to talk. Just drop us a line and tell us about your situation and what you need help with. We look forward to helping you.

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