On Call in Action: Air Pollution Dangers

Whether you’re traveling for business, school, or pleasure, it’s safe to say that things don’t always go as planned. (Good thing you always remember to pack your On Call card!) But here’s the thing: unless you’ve actually experienced a travel emergency (a broken leg, lost prescription, stolen passport, or even a legal mix-up), it’s hard to imagine how travel assistance could really come in handy or even save your life. Not to worry – tune in each month to see how travelers just like you turn to On Call International every day for help with their travel emergencies, both big and small.

Pollution filled city

This Month: Lincoln,* an executive from Milwaukee, was in the process of finalizing a major deal for his company. The last step was to visit the potential client in Beijing to negotiate the fine print. Before he departed, Lincoln’s company provided him with information about the air pollution problems in China and reviewed several safety precautions, such as always wearing a face mask outside. Keeping these precautions in mind, Lincoln felt confident about his trip. On the day of the big meeting, the air pollution was at a hazardous level. Lincoln woke up with a headache and a sore throat, but was focused on his meeting. When he stepped outside, he realized he left his face mask in the hotel. Already running late, he decided not to go back to his room. After arriving at the client’s office, he found himself short of breath and lightheaded. He tried to get a drink of water, but fell to the floor. His colleagues immediately called for an ambulance and notified their employer.

On Call to the Rescue…

Lincoln’s employer notified On Call International, the company’s travel risk management provider, of the situation. We advised his employer we would ensure Lincoln’s doctors were capable of treating his condition and keep them updated (with his permission). When we reached out to the hospital, the doctor explained that Lincoln was already a high-risk candidate for asthma and the air pollution exacerbated his symptoms.

Our medical director recommended Lincoln stay overnight and be released in the morning provided his oxygen levels were stable. He also recommended that Lincoln follow up with his primary care physician upon arriving home.

Closing the Deal…

Once Lincoln was released from the hospital, he returned to his hotel and immediately called his client. The client was more than willing to make time for another meeting considering the circumstances. Lincoln was relieved to have On Call by his side during this unexpected complication and was looking forward to closing the deal.

*Names have been changed to protect member privacy.


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