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Air Med J ; 40(4): 287-288, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286257


Virtually every country in the world has been affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Nepal is a landlocked country located in Southern Asia. Nepal's population has suffered greatly due to a shortage of critical care facilities, resources, and trained personnel. For appropriate care, patients need access to hospitals mostly in the centrally located capital city of Kathmandu. Unfortunately, Nepal's resources and personnel dedicated to transferring COVID-19 patients are scarce. Road and traffic infrastructure problems and mountainous terrain prevent ground ambulances from performing effectively. This, in addition to Nepal lacking national standards for prehospital care, create great challenges for transferring patients via ground emergency medical services. The concept of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) began in 2013 in Nepal. Presently, 3 hospitals, Nepal Mediciti Hospital, Hospital for Advanced Medicine and Surgery (HAMS), and Grande International Hospital, coordinate with private helicopter companies to run proper HEMS. One entity, Simrik Air, has dedicated 2 Airbus H125/AS350 helicopters for the sole purpose of transferring COVID-19 patients. HEMS effectiveness is expanding in Nepal, but much remains to be accomplished.

Air Ambulances/organization & administration , COVID-19/therapy , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Air Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Nepal/epidemiology , Rural Health Services/statistics & numerical data
Air Med J ; 40(4): 282-286, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281382


Korea rarely has a system to transport patients from abroad. However, single-patient transfers are steadily being performed, and there was an experience of transferring a large number of personnel regardless of whether they were confirmed or not due to coronavirus disease 2019. Recently, a national soccer game was held abroad, and a total of 8 players and staff were infected. A total of 15 people were transported through a charter fully equipped with quarantine equipment by a medical response team with experience in air transport.

Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Athletes , COVID-19/therapy , Quarantine/methods , Soccer , Travel-Related Illness , Austria , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Quarantine/organization & administration , Republic of Korea
Air Med J ; 40(4): 211-215, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237589


OBJECTIVE: As part of the humanitarian response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the German and French Armed Forces provided air transport for patients from overwhelmed regional hospitals in Italy and France. The objective of this study was to analyze the characteristics of the missions and the medical conditions of COVID-19 patients transported during an air medical evacuation on fixed wing aircraft in March and April 2020. METHOD: This was a retrospective analysis of transport records as well as other documents for 58 COVID-19 patients requiring artificial ventilation. RESULTS: The median age of the transported patients was 61.5 years, and 61% of them had preexisting medical conditions. They had been ventilated for a median of 5 days and experienced the first symptoms 18 days before transport. The patients flown out of France had less days of ventilation before flight, a lower end-tidal carbon dioxide level at the beginning of the flight, and a lower Charlson Comorbidity Index. There were also some differences between the ventilation and the flight level flown by the 2 air forces. CONCLUSION: The intensive care transport of ventilated COVID-19 patients requires highly qualified personnel and appropriate equipment and should be planned appropriately.

Air Ambulances , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Patient Transfer , Aged , Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Air Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Critical Care/methods , Critical Care/organization & administration , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Transfer/methods , Patient Transfer/organization & administration , Patient Transfer/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg ; 47(3): 703-711, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1029862


PURPOSE: The SARS-CoV-2 virus has disrupted global and local medical supply chains. To combat the spread of the virus and prevent an uncontrolled outbreak with limited resources, national lockdown protocols have taken effect in the Netherlands since March 13th, 2020. The aim of this study was to describe the incidence, type and characteristics of HEMS and HEMS-ambulance 'Lifeliner 1' dispatches during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same period one year prior. METHODS: A retrospective review of all HEMS and HEMS-ambulance 'Lifeliner 1' dispatches was performed from the start of Dutch nationwide lockdown orders from March 13th until May 13th, 2020 and the corresponding period one year prior. Dispatch-, operational-, patient-, injury-, and on-site treatment characteristics were extracted for analysis. In addition, the rate of COVID-19 positively tested HEMS personnel and the time physicians were unable to take call was described. RESULTS: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HEMS and HEMS-ambulance was requested in 528 cases. One year prior, a total of 620 requests were received. The HEMS (helicopter and ambulance) was cancelled after deployment in 56.4% of the COVID-19 cohort and 50.7% of the historical cohort (P = 0.05). Incident location type did not differ between the two cohorts, specifically, there was no significant difference in the number of injuries that occurred at home in pandemic versus non-pandemic circumstances. Besides a decrease in the number of falls, the distribution of mechanisms of injury remained similar during the COVID-19 study period. There was no difference in self-inflicted injuries observed. Prehospital interventions remained similar during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to one year prior. Specifically, prehospital intubation did not differ between the two cohorts. The rate of COVID-19 positively tested HEMS personnel was 23.1%. Physicians who tested positive were unable to take call for a mean of 25 days (range 8-53). CONCLUSION: A decrease in the number of deployments and increase in the number of cancelled missions was observed during the COVID-19 study period. No major differences in operational- and injury characteristics were found for HEMS and HEMS-ambulance dispatches between the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands and the same period one year prior. These findings highlight the importance of continued operability of the HEMS, even during pandemic circumstances. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III, retrospective comparative study.

Air Ambulances , COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Wounds and Injuries , Adult , Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Air Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Emergencies/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Dispatcher/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Medical Services/supply & distribution , Female , Humans , Male , Netherlands/epidemiology , Occupational Health/statistics & numerical data , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology , Wounds and Injuries/etiology , Wounds and Injuries/therapy
Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med ; 28(1): 94, 2020 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-781501


BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, is challenging healthcare systems worldwide. Little is known about problems faced by emergency medical services-particularly helicopter services-caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. We aimed to describe the issues faced by air ambulance services in Europe as they transport potential COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Nine different HEMS providers in seven different countries across Europe were invited to share their experiences and to report their data regarding the care, transport, and safety measures in suspected or confirmed COVID-19 missions. Six air ambulance providers in six countries agreed and reported their data regarding development of special procedures and safety instructions in preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic. Four providers agreed to provide mission related data. Three hundred eighty-five COVID-19-related missions were analysed, including 119 primary transport missions and 266 interfacility transport missions. RESULTS: All providers had developed special procedures and safety instructions in preparation for COVID-19. Ground transport was the preferred mode of transport in primary missions, whereas air transport was preferred for interfacility transport. In some countries the transport of COVID-19 patients by regular air ambulance services was avoided. Patients in interfacility transport missions had a significantly higher median (range) NACA Score 4 (2-5) compared with 3 (1-7), needed significantly more medical interventions, were significantly younger (59.6 ± 16 vs 65 ± 21 years), and were significantly more often male (73% vs 60.5%). CONCLUSIONS: All participating air ambulance providers were prepared for COVID-19. Safe care and transport of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients is achievable. Most patients on primary missions were transported by ground. These patients were less sick than interfacility transport patients, for whom air transport was the preferred method.

Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Transportation of Patients/methods , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Air Med J ; 39(6): 516-519, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-754004


The aims of this article are to comment on pre-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mental health activity in rural and remote Australia, including related air medical retrievals; to discuss how the current pandemic is likely to impact on this vulnerable population's mental health; and to provide potential solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant air medical activity from rural and remote Australia. COVID-19 and the necessary public health and socioeconomic interventions are likely to significantly compound mental health problems for both the general public and the mental health workforce servicing rural and remote communities. However, the COVID-19 crisis provides a window of opportunity to develop, support, and build novel and sustainable solutions to the chronic mental health service vulnerabilities in rural and remote areas in Australia and other countries.

COVID-19/psychology , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health Services/organization & administration , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Adult , Aged , Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Air Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/etiology , Mental Health Services/trends , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Rural Health/trends , Rural Health Services/trends , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/trends
Emerg Med J ; 37(10): 642-643, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-697092


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm and overwhelmed healthcare institutions even in developed countries. In response, clinical staff and resources have been redeployed to the areas of greatest need, that is, intensive care units and emergency rooms (ER), to reinforce front-line manpower. We introduce the concept of close air support (CAS) to augment ER operations in an efficient, safe and scalable manner. Teams of five comprising two on-site junior ER physicians would be paired with two CAS doctors, who would be off-site but be in constant communication via teleconferencing to render real-time administrative support. They would be supervised by an ER attending. This reduces direct viral exposure to doctors, conserves precious personal protective equipment and allows ER physicians to focus on patient care. Medical students can also be involved in a safe and supervised manner. After 1 month, the average time to patient disposition was halved. General feedback was also positive. CAS improves efficiency and is safe, scalable and sustainable. It has also empowered a previously untapped group of junior clinicians to support front-line medical operations, while simultaneously protecting them from viral exposure. Institutions can consider adopting our novel approach, with modifications made according to their local context.

Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Emergency Medical Services/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Workforce/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Medicine/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Male , Organizational Innovation , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pilot Projects , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Program Development , Program Evaluation , Quality Improvement
Rev. bras. enferm ; 73(supl.2): e20200297, 2020. graf
Article in English | LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-646179


ABSTRACT Objective: to describe the experience of military nursing in "Operation Return to Brazil" in an aeromedical evacuation. Method: this is an experience report of the nursing staff in the Aeromedical Evacuation of potentially-contaminated Brazilians who were in Wuhan, China, after the outbreak of the new coronavirus. Results: the report was constructed from nursing care performed in three stages: pre-flight, screening, and flight. Pre-flight care would include aircraft configuration and material prediction. In screening, the staff was concerned with being properly attired. In the health assessment of returnees, in-flight, attention was focused on Personal Protective Equipment handling to minimize the risk of contamination by prolonged contact with potentially-contaminated passengers. Final considerations: nursing was committed to planning all the actions of this mission, which was one of the longest, strenuous and unprecedented in the history of aeromedical transport in Brazil.

RESUMEN Objetivo: describir la experiencia de enfermería militar en la "Operación Regreso a Brasil" en una evacuación aeromédica. Método: este es un informe de experiencia del equipo de enfermería, en la evacuación aeromédica de brasileños potencialmente contaminados que se encontraban en Wuhan, China, después del brote del nuevo coronavirus. Resultado: el informe se construyó a partir de la atención de enfermería realizada en tres etapas: pre-vuelo, detección y vuelo. En el prevuelo, el cuidado incluyó la configuración de la aeronave y el pronóstico del material. En la evaluación, al equipo le preocupaba estar bien preparado. En la evaluación de la salud de los retornados, durante el vuelo, la atención se centró en el manejo de equipos de protección personal para minimizar el riesgo de contaminación por contacto prolongado con pasajeros potencialmente contaminados. Consideraciones finales: la enfermería se comprometió a planificar todas las acciones de esta misión, que fue una de las más largas, extenuantes y sin precedentes en la historia del transporte aeromédico en Brasil.

RESUMO Objetivo: descrever a experiência da enfermagem militar na Operação Regresso ao Brasil em uma evacuação aeromédica. Método: trata-se de um relato de experiência da equipe de enfermagem, na evacuação aeromédica dos brasileiros potencialmente contaminados que estavam em Wuhan, China, após o surto do novo coronavírus. Resultado: o relato foi construído a partir de cuidados de enfermagem realizados em três etapas: pré-voo, triagem e voo. No pré-voo, os cuidados incluíram a configuração da aeronave e a previsão do material. Na triagem, a equipe preocupou-se em estar devidamente aparamentada. Na avaliação de saúde dos repatriados, durante voo, concentrou-se a atenção no manejo dos Equipamentos de Proteção Individual para minimizar o risco de contaminação pelo contato prolongado, com passageiros potencialmente contaminados. Considerações finais: a enfermagem empenhou-se no planejamento de todas as ações dessa missão, que foi uma das mais longas, extenuantes e inéditas da história do transporte aeromédico do Brasil.

Humans , Male , Female , Adult , Pneumonia, Viral , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Military Nursing/organization & administration , Military Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology , Nursing Staff, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Brazil , China , Air Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , Middle Aged , Military Nursing/statistics & numerical data
Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med ; 28(1): 40, 2020 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-260034


BACKGROUND: The current COVID-19 pandemic highlights the challenges air ambulance services are facing when transporting highly infectious patients for several hours in enclosed spaces. This overview provides an example of a standard operating procedure (SOP) for infection prevention measures in HEMS missions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we describe different methods used by several organizations in Europe and the experience of the Swiss air rescue organization Rega in transporting these patients. Possible benefits of the use of small patient isolation units (PIU) are discussed, including the fact that accompanying medical personnel do not need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) during the transport but can still maintain full access to the patient. Rega has developed and patented its own PIU. This device allows spontaneously breathing or mechanically ventilated patients to be transported in pressurized jet cabins, small helicopters and ambulance vehicles, without the need to change between transport units. This PIU is unique, as it remains air-tight even when there is a sudden loss of cabin pressure. CONCLUSION: A wide variety of means are being used for the aeromedical transport of infectious patients. These involve isolating either the patient or the medical crew. One benefit of PIUs is that the means of transport can be easily changed without contaminating the surroundings and while still allowing access to the patient.

Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Air Ambulances/standards , Aircraft/standards , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Transportation of Patients/methods , Transportation of Patients/standards , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Europe , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Switzerland