Telemedicine for a sick traveller in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay


Traveller Assist received a request from a travel insurance company for a medical referral in Punta del Diablo for a traveller who was suffering from nausea and vomiting.


Knowing it was the low season in Punta del Diablo, where the population is only approx. 400 inhabitants, as opposed to the high season when the local population swells to 25,000 tourists, there is very little choice for medical centres in the area. The closest hospital is 300km's away in the capital, Montedvideo.


A Traveller Assist, Case Manager who is a registered nurse, made contact with the traveller via e-mail. The traveller had a good wifi signal, so we gave her the option of speaking to our Medical Director, who is a medical doctor, via video call. We sent the traveller a link to our secure telemedicine portal, where she immediately logged in.


Our Medical Director asked the traveller several questions regarding her symptoms, and also her activities, including food and drink within the past 24-hours. It was our doctors opinion that the patient was suffering from food poisoning, and as a result, mild dehydration.


Our doctor advised that the patient drink more fluids, rest and take over-the-counter medication to stop the vomiting. Our medical assistance team found a shop close by, and called them to confirm that they had the medication in stock.


Our nurse checked in with the traveller every two-hours, for the following eight-hours, and the traveller confirmed that she was feeling better, and had stopped vomiting. The traveller was able to sleep for seven-hours, and after a follow up call with our doctor 24-hours later, the traveller no longer had any symptoms.


By using our telemedicine solution, Traveller Assist was able to save a sick traveller from travelling a 600km round-trip to the closest hospital, and diagnose her in the comfort of a hotel room. In addition, it saved the insurer the costs of transportation, hospital admission, and quite probably the cost of admitting the traveller for IV fluids, and observation.


The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the National Health Service have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk. Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk. For up-to-date alerts and foreign travel advice, see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

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