What to do when there is a serious medical situation
Always notify the AFS Liaison (or, in case the liaison is not available, AFS Staff or another volunteer) in the event of serious medical situations or conditions. Serious situations include any type of ongoing illness, a broken bone, hospitalization, proposed or emergency surgery, or any condition lingering for an extended period. By contacting your liaison or staff member or other volunteer, we can ensure that this information is communicated immediately to the AFS Office staff in your hosted participant’s home country so that they can inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) and obtain written authorization for treatment or surgery, if needed.
In the case of a life-threatening emergency when there is not sufficient time to contact the parent(s)/guardian(s), AFS can authorize treatment or surgery on behalf of the parent(s)/guardian(s). The Parental Authorization Form can be presented to the hospital or doctor’s office, if needed. If this form is not accepted, contact the National Service Center at 1-800-AFS-INFO (800-237-4636, option 9).
Serious Situations Occurring Outside Regular Hours
The AFS-USA National Service Center is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. To report a serious situation which arises outside of these hours, call 1-800-AFS-INFO (800-237- 4636, option 9). The AFS answering service will contact the Duty Officer who will return your call and assist you. If you don’t hear back from the Duty Officer in 15 minutes, you should call the answering service back and let them know. They will either contact the Duty Officer again or contact the back-up Duty Officer for you.
This service is for emergencies only. An emergency might be a car accident, serious illness and/or hospitalization of your hosted student, any situation in which the police are involved, or any time you feel is there is important information which must be communicated to the parent(s)/guardian(s)s immediately.
Automobile accidents involving an AFS Participant must be reported to the AFS National Office as quickly as possible. The AFS Participant must be seen by a physician even if there is no apparent injury. Please complete the Accident Form (on the back side of the Medical Claim Form) and forward it to the AFS National Office. Do not sign any release form pertaining to insurance or allow your hosted participant to do so without consulting the Participant Support Specialist at the AFS National Office at 1-800-AFS-INFO (800-237-4636, option 9).
If a hosted participant has been injured in a car accident, it is important to get an accident report from the police. The accident report should show the names, addresses and relevant insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident. Please note that when medical expenses are incurred by participants as the result of an automobile accident, responsibility for the expenses is often governed by local law. See the Participant Medical Pamphlet for more information.