January 05, 2005 17:22 ET

International SOS Plays Major Role in Assisting Tsunami Victims and Survivors; Medical and Security Teams on the Ground in Affected Areas Available for Comment



JANUARY 5, 2005 - 17:22 ET

International SOS Plays Major Role in Assisting
Tsunami Victims and Survivors; Medical and Security
Teams on the Ground in Affected Areas Available for

PHILADELPHIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan 5, 2005) -

Since the tsunamis struck Asia on December 26, International SOS, the
world's largest medical and security assistance company, has been
actively providing support to clients in the region. Crisis management
teams at SOS regional Alarm Centers in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and
India have handled more than 1,000 client requests for assistance to

More than 70 SOS staff, including more than 30 medical professionals,
are continuing to work around the clock to render medical advice and
assistance to clients, ranging from locating missing persons to handling
evacuations and hospitalizations. The focus now, however, has shifted
from rescue to disease management, with health conditions on the ground

According to Dr. Doug Quarry, an SOS Medical Director who is helping
coordinate efforts from Sydney, Australia, "There are serious concerns
about emerging health problems, such as malaria and dysentery, that
result from lack of clean water and sewage seeping into drinking water
sources. Also, destruction of infrastructure and particularly roads
makes relief efforts more challenging, with many remote areas literally
cut off by all means except helicopter."


-- Dr. Doug Quarry, SOS Medical Director, is available from
Sydney, Australia.

-- Dr. Myles Druckman, SOS VP of Medical Assistance for the
Americas, is available from Philadelphia, PA or New York, NY.

-- Dean Radford, SOS VP, Global Security and Intelligence, is
available from Philadelphia, PA (now through Jan 12) and from
Singapore (Jan 13-14).

-- Various medical and security staff on the ground in affected
regions, including Banda Aceh, Medan, Phuket, Bangkok, Krabi
and Male. Call 202-414-0786 to coordinate interviews and
determine exact locations.

SOS has established a temporary 24-hour Alarm Center in Phuket
(Thailand), manned by three senior doctors. Additional teams are
operating in Krabi and Phang Nga, providing medical support and
assistance to clients in those regions. SOS has also deployed operations
specialists to Male (Maldives), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Banda Aceh and
Medan (North Sumatra, Indonesia). These teams are on the ground in the
affected areas, working closely with local emergency authorities and
government agencies.

Dr. Myles Druckman, Vice President of Medical Assistance for SOS
Americas highlighted specific cases SOS has handled: "To date,
International SOS has assisted several hundred victims of the disaster,
including 35 evacuations, the majority of them tourists vacationing in
Thailand. We airlifted victims from Krabi, Surat Thani, Phuket and
Colombo to medical centers in Bangkok and Singapore. The youngest victim
airlifted was a seven year old."

In addition to overseeing assistance for its U.S. clients, International
SOS is working closely with foreign embassies to assist with
hospitalization and travel needs of others visiting the area. In
Bangkok, SOS has coordinated efforts for approximately 50 British
citizens identified by the British Embassy based there. Through its
Singapore Alarm Center, SOS teams will also be coordinating vaccinations
for foreign aid workers, victims and others traveling to the region to
participate in search, rescue and relief efforts.

A dedicated Missing Persons Team has been set up through the SOS
Singapore Alarm Center to centrally manage all requests and data
received. International SOS teams in the most affected areas have been
working closely with local authorities that are performing search,
rescue and recovery operations. SOS used its Traveler Locator Service to
locate SOS clients who registered their travel data prior to the
disaster. SOS is also helping coordinate repatriation of mortal remains.

To provide up-to-date information and advice, International SOS has
created a Tsunami Update section on the home page of its website that is
accessible to the public at Launched within 24
hours of the disaster, the website provides details on the affected
countries including information on the management of missing persons,
the deceased, DNA testing for identification purposes, national hotlines
for assistance and advice, medical and security updates and advice on
travel to the region. The site is updated daily.

About International SOS

International SOS ( is the world's most
comprehensive provider of integrated medical and security assistance
services, as well as the leading provider of remote site medical
services. It has a full time staff of 4,000 professionals including a
medical staff of over 1,000. Each year, International SOS handles almost
400,000 medical assistance and physician referral cases for
international travelers. Aviation Desks of FAA-certified coordinators
help maintain a worldwide network of air ambulance providers and a fleet
of 10 dedicated air ambulances. Services include emergency medical
evacuations and medically supervised repatriation; 24-hour access to
staff physicians and security experts at 28 SOS Alarm Centers and 22
International Clinics worldwide; case management, medical monitoring and
repatriation of mortal remains. SOS clients include the majority of
Fortune 500 companies as well as leading insurance companies, credit
card programs, specialty travel programs, universities, government
agencies and NGO's.

MEDIA NOTES: To interview Dr. Quarry, Dr. Druckman, Mr. Radford or one
of the on the ground SOS medical team members about the current
situation in the Asia Pacific region, please contact:

Andrea Bestul Jennifer Devlin
International SOS Susan Davis International
Ph: 215-942-8050 Ph: 202-414-0786 or 703-966-3241


Contact Information

    International SOS
    Jennifer Devlin, 202-414-0786