Medical repatriation: Successful cooperation for Assma

November 15, 2018

Baby Assma was born without complications in Munich. Her young family had adjusted well to their new addition and decided to travel to Tunis with the two-month-old girl to introduce Assma to her relatives.


Medical Emergeny in the air

Assma suffered a seizure on the plane to Tunis and was admitted to a private clinic on the same day with generalized seizures. Her MRI showed a massive cerebral hemorrhage originating from an aneurysm of the left middle cerebral artery.

Apart from anticonvulsive therapy which was administered by the medical staff in Tunis, no further therapy was carried out. Assma’s father was informed that neither neurosurgical nor interventional (Coiling) therapy was possible.

Assma was then discharged with an unfavourable prognosis. She did not suffer any further seizures and the local doctors advised the parents that they should try to fly home with Assma via a scheduled flight. It was however impossible to estimate the chances that Assma would survive this flight.

In a state of desparation, Assma’s father discovered his DRK membership card and immediately alerted the emergency call centre. In the shortest time possible, a joint cooperation between DRK, Pediatric Air Ambulance and Tyrol Air Ambulance was established to plan and carry out Assma’s return via air ambulance.


Pediatric Transport: Tunis to Munich

Upon the arrival of the medical team, it became clear that the child’s condition was critical and significantly worse than had been assumed in the medical assessment. Indeed, Assma’s seizures persisted after the medical team arrived in Tunis. The repatriation was carried out at low level and under strict medical intensive care supervision by the pediatric intensive care team. Assma was successfully transported to Munich without complications. On arrival, she was taken directly to the shock room of a local hospital, where she was given a controlled anaesthetic and an MRI examination.



Successful cooperation

Dr. Matthias Hübner (pictured with TAA’s G100), co-owner of Pediatric Air Ambulance and the pediatric intensive care physician on board Assma’s flight, wrote an email to all partners involved after the successful Mission:

Dear colleagues, I would like to express my sincere thanks, also on behalf of Assma’s parents, to all those involved in the great cooperation on today’s mission. Since the child’s medical condition and findings were clearly worse than were assumed in the assessment, everyone, the pilots and MedCrew of TAA, the control center employees of DRK and TAA and the paramedics of the RTWs have contributed to the success of the mission. Best regards, Dr. Matthias Hübner


Update on Assma

Assma has a 100% chance of recovery. After two days of stabilization in the pediatric intensive care unit, she underwent a successful neurosurgery operation to address both the bleeding and the aneurysm. Happily, she has since been discharged and is in a healthy condition, most probably without any permanent damage.



Partners involved in this mission: DRK Flugdienst, Pediatric Air Ambulance, Tyrol Air Ambulance, BRK Starnberg, LMU Klinikum Grosshadern, LMU Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Intensive Care Medicine, LMU Pediatric Neurosurgery.