Medical Equipment Lost and Found


More and more people are travelling overseas with medical equipment that they need to survive. If this equipment is lost or malfunctions, it is critical to find a replacement as soon as possible. The case study below describes how we were able to rapidly locate and replace lost medical equipment for a member. 

Service: International SOS membership

Location: London, UK


The size of a large dictionary, a nebulizer - a machine that helps vaporize liquid medication to treat severe asthma attacks, is not the easiest thing to carry around. But if you have a compromised respiratory system, it is a critical piece of equipment to have when you travel.

John Williams*, a 67-year old sales executive with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease always made sure to bring his nebulizer with him. While he did not need to use the machine daily, it stabilised his breathing during a severe asthma attack, and he could not manage without it.

On a four-day trip to London, John ran into trouble. John packed his nebulizer within his checked luggage, but it was lost by the airline. He promptly placed a claim with the airline and then called the International SOS London assistance centre for help. 

Philadelphia assistance centre employee on call


The International SOS assistance centre answered John’s call swiftly and passed him immediately to Dr. Mary Cox, an on-staff physician. Dr Cox took his medical history and confirmed his condition. She began the search for a replacement nebulizer in central London by accessing International SOS’ medical provider database. 

It contains thousands of accredited hospitals, pharmacies, and medical equipment providers and she soon found a medical supply store with a nebulizer near John's hotel in Marylebone.

That afternoon John went to the store and was able to purchase the nebulizer. He kept the receipt to claim the cost to his medical insurance.


John was able to enjoy the rest of his short stay in London without worry. He was relieved that through his International SOS membership, he got the crucial medical equipment he needed without fuss.

* Name has been changed to protect member's identity.