Remote Worker Support
Managing pre-existing medical conditions is even more important in remote areas. Our wilderness-specialist doctors can risk assess each worker prior to departure and ensure you've mitigated any risk appropriately. Risk assessment takes into account each worker's:
health status and risk profile
expected nature of work
length of deployment
operational support available
Pre-trip medical screening is an essential safeguard for participants, leaders or independent travellers visiting remote locations. By discussing their pre-existing medical conditions with an impartial wilderness specialist doctor, travellers can make a fully informed decision about the appropriateness of the activity for them.
Often individuals will be reluctant to disclose information to non-medical professionals, and particularly friends or colleagues, for fear of jeopardising their place on a trip, or even bringing problems they would prefer to remain confidential to the attention of their social circle or wider workplace.
An impartial system will improve disclosure, and can ensure that everyone involved with the trip is prepared to accommodate any medical needs, and therefore provide the highest standard of preparedness and care for the whole team.
How does it work?
Screening is a multi-step process. The participant fills in an on-line medical form, detailing any past or ongoing medical issues. Our wilderness specialist doctor will familiarise him/herself with details of the trip, including country, climate, medical facilities available, activity levels, remoteness and altitude, and then assess the participant’s medical information against the proposed activity. There are then two possible outcomes - the doctor finds no issues that require further discussion, or the doctor arranges a telephone consultation to discuss some medical issues directly with the participant. In rare cases, the doctor may request copies of the participant’s medical records (with the participant’s consent).
So will you declare participants "fit to participate"?
The doctor’s role is not to declare someone “fit to participate”. The doctor will discuss with the participant the implications of their medical condition, if any, on the safety of themselves and others taking part in the remote trip. The participant will then be fully informed and able to make a good decision as to whether or not he/she wishes to participate.
Risk assessment, emergency response planning and medical facility inspections are essential elements of your pre-operation preparations. We have experience in hundreds of locations around the world, helping you to understand your locations.
Preparing for emergencies will not only help you deal with the aftermath of an incident as efficiently and effectively as possible, but also raise awareness of the risks associated with your plans. Raising awareness of risks is an essential part of encouraging safe behaviour, which in turn reduces your chances of needing your emergency plans - a true virtuous circle.
We can help you with your planning, specifically:
Risk assessment - on a country, region, activity or route basis
Emergency response planning - ensuring that you know how to access medical, security, diplomatic and other support in the event of emergency
Medical preparedness - assessing local medical provision
Where is the nearest hospital?
Would you trust it to give you a blood transfusion?
Where would you need to go if you broke your ankle?
What about medical care if you got malaria?
24h Operational Support
Sentinel offers a 24-hour ops room service, which includes day-and-night access to a wilderness specialist doctor. We can help you with routine call-ins and day-to-day logistical support plus emergency incident management should you need it, including emergency medical advice, logistics, liaison with emergency services, insurance and medevac companies, notification of next of kin, employers or other interested parties, consular liaison and any other assistance you may need.
How does ops room backup work?
You will have a dedicated phone line for your expedition staffed by a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT). The WEMT will handle your routine or emergency support requests. You can speak to a wilderness specialist doctor any time of day or night within half an hour. In order to use this service you must have lodged medical declaration forms for every member of the party, an emergency response plan and an outline itinerary with Sentinel in advance of your journey. We can help you write these - please contact us for advice.
24h Medical Support
Every operation's medical support needs are unique. We'll listen to your requirements and work with you to create the right support network.
Having a wilderness specialist doctor available to give your workforce advice directly in the field can help to:
Avoid the need for unneccessary costly, risky and time consuming evacuations
Avoid the need to use poorly-resourced, unknown or untested local medical services
Fulfil your duty of care to your employees
Get your workforce back into the field more quickly following illness or injury, while ensuring that only those who are fit return
What kind of medical advice can you give us?
Medical advice broadly falls into one of two categories:
1. Urgent medical advice for sudden illness or trauma
Support for your medical staff or first aiders in the field
Advice regarding immediate treatment and use of drugs
Advice regarding need and required timescale for evacuation
Advice regarding destination for evacuation
2. GP-type medical advice for non-urgent problems
Advice on treating common problems such as travellers' diarrhoea, skin infections or rashes, bites and stings, ear infections, sore throats etc.
Authorisation to use medications held within the individual worker's drug pack
Advice as to when a visit to a local doctor is required
Double-checking of local doctors' advice and suitability of prescribed drugs
We can provide either or both of these services for one day or indefinitely. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
In conjunction with our sister company Equip-me, we can provide your workers with their own personalised medical bags containing prescription and non-prescription drugs tailored to their medical needs and itinerary. When they call in for advice, the doctor will direct them when and how to initiate, monitor and complete treatment for their particular medical problem and set of circumstances. We can also provide first aid equipment and training suitable for your activities and locations.
How do I get hold of a medical bag?
We can design a system that integrates into your current occupational health scheme. In order to align to leading practice, medical bags are issued to named individuals. Normally the patient will complete an online medical questionnaire, and may be asked to speak to our doctor on the phone. The doctor will make sure the bag is tailored to the patient. The bag will be sent to the patient by courier. Please contact us in the first instance to discuss your requirements and your existing systems.
An example medical bag
The contents of your medical bag will be tailored to each person and their planned location and activities. This list is therefore an example - each bag might be different. A guide price for the general medication bag is £140 (plus VAT). This price includes medical screening, prescription and delivery by courier. Refreshing the pack in subsequent years will incur a lower fee, unless the patient's medical status has changed. An example price for the altitude pack is £30 (plus VAT) when bought with a general medication bag.
General medication bag
Guidance booklet; Contains detailed written instructions for all medications
Dioralyte Electrolyte Powder Sachet (10) for dehydration
Amoxycillin 500mg caps (21) for infections
Ciprofloxacin 250mg tabs (10) for infections
Chloramphenical 4g ointment (1) for eye infections
Sofradex Ear Drops 10ml (1) for ear infections
Clove Oil 10ml (1) for tooth pain
Senna tabs (20) for constipation
Loperamide 2mg caps (30) for diarrhoea
Paracetamol 500mg tabs (64) for mild to moderate pain
Ibuprofen 200mg tabs (24) for mild to moderate pain
Chlorpheniramine 4mg tabs (28) for allergy
Oral Glucose Gel (1) for hypoglycaemia
Adrenaline autoinjector (1)
Salbutamol inhaler (1)
Prednisolone 5mg tabs (56)
Course of malaria prophylaxis, for example Malarone™ (1)
Long lasting insecticide treated bed net (1)
DEET insect repellant 55%, 120ml (1)
Course of malaria emergency treatment, for example Co-Artem™ (1)
Acetazolamide 250mg tabs (12) for AMS and HACE
Nifedipine MR 10mg tabs (14) for HAPE
Dexamethasone 2mg tabs (24) for HACE
First aid equipment
We can also supply first aid equipment (for example, bandages, splints, dressings, monitoring equipment and/or stretchers). We can advise you on what’s appropriate for your expedition.