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2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(7)2023 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2306313

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An efficient first-aid system usually supports ground services with a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS). An HEMS is important for patients with acute chest pain on remote islands. The current study sought to identify the characteristics of HEMS in acute chest pain cases on the Croatian Adriatic islands over a four-year period. METHODS: We conducted a four-year observational study to investigate HEMS from Adriatic islands. The study population consisted of all patients with acute coronary syndrome or pulmonary embolisms who were urgently transferred by HEMS to the University Hospital in Split 1 June 2018-1 June 2022. RESULTS: During the observation period, 222 adult patients (67 females, or 30.2%) were urgently transferred. The mean age was 71.81 ± 13.42 years. The most common diagnosis was ST-elevated myocardial infarction (113, 50.9%). Most of the HEMS cases were from Hvar (91, 41.0%). The mean call-to-flight time was 19.10 ± 10.94 min, and the total time from call to hospital was 68.50 ± 22.29 min. The total time from call to hospital was significantly correlated with call-to-flight time (r = 0.761, P < 0.001). Of the 222 participants, 5 (2.25%) were transported for more than 120 min, and 35 (15.8%) were transported for more than 90 min. CONCLUSION: This study provided a detailed insight into HEMS in the area of the Croatian Adriatic islands. The average time from the call to the helicopter taking off was 19.10 min. An increase in dispatching time has a significant impact on the prolongation of the total time for the hospital admission. Shortening the response time is critical to reducing hospital arrival time.


Subject(s)
Air Ambulances , Emergency Medical Services , Adult , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Croatia/epidemiology , Aircraft , Hospitals, University , Retrospective Studies
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(8)2023 04 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300908

ABSTRACT

Air traffic bans in response to the spread of the coronavirus have changed the sound situation of urban areas around airports. This study aimed to investigate the effect of this unprecedented event on the community response to noise before and after the international flight operation at Tan Son Nhat Airport (TSN) in March 2020. The "before" survey was conducted in August 2019, and the two "after" surveys were conducted in June and September 2020. Structural equation models (SEMs) for noise annoyance and insomnia were developed by linking the questionnaire items of the social surveys. The first effort aimed to achieve a common model of noise annoyance and insomnia, corresponding to the situation before and after the change, respectively. Approximately, 1200 responses were obtained from surveys conducted in 12 residential areas around TSN in 2019 and 2020. The average daily flight numbers observed in August 2019 during the two surveys conducted in 2020 were 728, 413, and 299, respectively. The sound pressure levels of the 12 sites around TSN decreased from 45-81 dB (mean = 64, SD = 9.8) in 2019 to 41-76 dB (mean = 60, SD = 9.8) and 41-73 dB (mean = 59, SD = 9.3) in June and September 2020, respectively. The SEM indicated that the residents' health was related to increased annoyance and insomnia.


Subject(s)
Aviation , Noise, Transportation , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Humans , Airports , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Nuclear Family , Aircraft , Environmental Exposure
4.
Lancet Glob Health ; 11(5): e791-e795, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298734

ABSTRACT

International airports can have a key role in screening, detecting, and mitigating cross-border transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and potentially other infectious diseases. With aircraft passengers representing a subpopulation of a country or region, aircraft-based wastewater surveillance can be a promising approach to effectively identifying emerging viruses, tracing their evolution, and mapping global spread with international flights. Therefore, we propose the development of a global aircraft-based wastewater genomic surveillance network, with the busiest international airports as central nodes and continuing air travel journeys as vectors. This surveillance programme requires routinely collecting aircraft wastewater samples for microbiological analysis and sequencing and linking the resulting data with associated international air traffic information. With the creation of a strong international alliance between the airline industry and health authorities, this surveillance network will potentially complement public health systems with a true early warning ability to inform decision making for new variants and future global health risks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wastewater , Humans , Travel , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Aircraft , Genomics
5.
BMJ ; 380: 25, 2023 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270357

Subject(s)
Aircraft , Humans
6.
Am J Emerg Med ; 66: 40-44, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2285196

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Response to medical incidents in mountainous areas is delayed due to the remote and challenging terrain. Drones could assist in a quicker search for patients and can facilitate earlier treatment through delivery of medical equipment. We aim to assess the effects of using drones in search and rescue (SAR) operations in challenging terrain. We hypothesize that drones can reduce the search time and treatment-free interval of patients by delivering an emergency kit and telemedical support. METHODS: In this randomized controlled trial with a cross-over design two methods of searching for and initiating treatment of a patient were compared. The primary outcome was a comparison of the times for locating a patient through visual contact and starting treatment on-site between the drone-assisted intervention arm and the conventional ground-rescue control arm. A linear mixed model (LMM) was used to evaluate the effect of using a drone on search and start of treatment times. RESULTS: Twenty-four SAR missions, performed by six SAR teams each with four team members, were analyzed. The mean time to locate the patient was 14.6 min (95% CI 11.3-17.9) in the drone-assisted intervention arm and 20.6 min (95% CI 17.3-23.9) in the control arm. The mean time to start treatment was 15.7 min (95% CI 12.4-19.0) in the drone-assisted arm and 22.4 min (95% CI 19.1-25.7) in the control arm (p < 0.01 for both comparisons). CONCLUSION: The successful use of drones in SAR operations leads to a reduction in search time and treatment-free interval of patients in challenging terrain, which could improve outcomes in patients suffering from traumatic injuries, the most commonly occurring incident requiring mountain rescue operations.


Subject(s)
Emergency Medical Services , Telemedicine , Humans , Unmanned Aerial Devices , Aircraft , Rescue Work/methods , Emergency Medical Services/methods
7.
J Safety Res ; 84: 393-403, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254989

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Disruptions to aviation operations occur daily on a micro-level with negligible impacts beyond the inconvenience of rebooking and changing aircrew schedules. The unprecedented disruption in global aviation due to COVID-19 highlighted a need to evaluate emergent safety issues rapidly. METHOD: This paper uses causal machine learning to examine the heterogeneous effects of COVID-19 on reported aircraft incursions/excursions. The analysis utilized self report data from NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System collected from 2018 to 2020. The report attributes include self identified group characteristics and expert categorization of factors and outcomes. The analysis identified attributes and subgroup characteristics that were most sensitive to COVID-19 in inducing incursions/excursions. The method included the generalized random forest and difference-in-difference techniques to explore causal effects. RESULTS: The analysis indicates first officers are more prone to experiencing incursion/excursion events during the pandemic. In addition, events categorized with the human factors confusion, distraction, and the causal factor fatigue increased incursion/excursion events. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Understanding the attributes associated with the likelihood of incursion/excursion events provides policymakers and aviation organizations insights to improve prevention mechanisms for future pandemics or extended periods of reduced aviation operations.


Subject(s)
Aviation , COVID-19 , Humans , Self Report , Aircraft , Machine Learning
8.
Ann Emerg Med ; 80(4): 364-370, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2276485

ABSTRACT

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Drugs stored in rescue helicopters may be subject to extreme environmental conditions. The aim of this study was to measure whether drugs stored under the real-life conditions of a Swiss helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) would retain their potency over the course of 1 year. METHODS: A prospective, longitudinal study measuring the temperature exposure and concentration of drugs stored on 2 rescue helicopters in Switzerland over 1 year. The study drugs included epinephrine, norepinephrine, amiodarone, midazolam, fentanyl, naloxone, rocuronium, etomidate, and ketamine. Temperatures were measured inside the medication storage bags and the crew cabins at 10-minute intervals. Drug stability was measured on a monthly basis over the course of 12 months using high-performance liquid chromatography. The medications were considered stable at a minimum remaining drug concentration of 90% of the label claim. RESULTS: Temperatures ranged from -1.2 °C to 38.1 °C (29.84 °F to 100.58 °F) inside the drug storage bags. Of all the temperature measurements inside the drug storage bags, 37% lay outside the recommended storage conditions. All drugs maintained a concentration above 90% of the label claim. The observation periods for rocuronium and etomidate were shortened to 7 months because of a supply shortage of reference samples. CONCLUSION: Drugs stored under the real-life conditions of Swiss HEMS are subjected to temperatures outside the manufacturer's approved storage requirements. Despite this, all drugs stored under these conditions remained stable throughout our study. Real-life stability testing could be a way to extend drug exchange intervals.


Subject(s)
Amiodarone , Emergency Medical Services , Etomidate , Ketamine , Aircraft , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid , Drug Stability , Drug Storage , Epinephrine , Fentanyl , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Midazolam , Naloxone , Norepinephrine , Prospective Studies , Rocuronium , Temperature
9.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1058423, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2227808

ABSTRACT

The results from epidemiological studies suggest that environmental noise including aircraft, railway, road traffic, wind turbine, and leisure-related noise is a growing public health concern. According to the WHO, at least 100 million people in the European Union are affected by traffic noise levels above the WHO-recommended thresholds. Environmental noise can adversely affect physical and mental health, as well as wellbeing. Chronic low-level noise exposure typical for most environmental sources is associated with psychophysiological stress causing non-auditory or indirect noise effects leading ultimately to cardiovascular diseases. Among all environmental noise sources, aircraft noise is considered the most annoying, and its leading mechanism of action is autonomic system activation such as increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Previously, we observed that long-term exposure to aircraft noise was associated with increased diastolic blood pressure, arterial stiffness (as assessed by pulse wave velocity), and impaired left ventricular diastolic function. All mentioned above effects are early, subclinical, and potentially reversible changes which preceded late noise effects in the cardiovascular system, that is, established cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure. However, even a short-term reduction in aircraft noise exposure as observed during the COVID-19 lockdown may reverse these negative effects on arterial stiffness and blood pressure and may decrease the prevalence of insomnia. In this review, we aimed to critically discuss our obtained results considering recent studies on the influence of aircraft noise (and other traffic noises) on cardiovascular diseases in the context of the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Cardiovascular System , Noise, Transportation , Humans , Noise, Transportation/adverse effects , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology , Pulse Wave Analysis/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Communicable Disease Control , Aircraft
10.
PLoS One ; 18(2): e0264294, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224416

ABSTRACT

We critically appraised the literature regarding in-flight transmission of a range of respiratory infections to provide an evidence base for public health policies for contact tracing passengers, given the limited pathogen-specific data for SARS-CoV-2 currently available. Using PubMed, Web of Science, and other databases including preprints, we systematically reviewed evidence of in-flight transmission of infectious respiratory illnesses. A meta-analysis was conducted where total numbers of persons on board a specific flight was known, to calculate a pooled Attack Rate (AR) for a range of pathogens. The quality of the evidence provided was assessed using a bias assessment tool developed for in-flight transmission investigations of influenza which was modelled on the PRISMA statement and the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. We identified 103 publications detailing 165 flight investigations. Overall, 43.7% (72/165) of investigations provided evidence for in-flight transmission. H1N1 influenza A virus had the highest reported pooled attack rate per 100 persons (AR = 1.17), followed by SARS-CoV-2 (AR = 0.54) and SARS-CoV (AR = 0.32), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB, AR = 0.25), and measles virus (AR = 0.09). There was high heterogeneity in estimates between studies, except for TB. Of the 72 investigations that provided evidence for in-flight transmission, 27 investigations were assessed as having a high level of evidence, 23 as medium, and 22 as low. One third of the investigations that reported on proximity of cases showed transmission occurring beyond the 2x2 seating area. We suggest that for emerging pathogens, in the absence of pathogen-specific evidence, the 2x2 system should not be used for contact tracing. Instead, alternate contact tracing protocols and close contact definitions for enclosed areas, such as the same cabin on an aircraft or other forms of transport, should be considered as part of a whole of journey approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Humans , Contact Tracing , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Aircraft
11.
Redox Biol ; 59: 102580, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2159756

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, up to 8.8 million excess deaths/year have been attributed to air pollution, mainly due to the exposure to fine particulate matter (PM). Traffic-related noise is an additional contributor to global mortality and morbidity. Both health risk factors substantially contribute to cardiovascular, metabolic and neuropsychiatric sequelae. Studies on the combined exposure are rare and urgently needed because of frequent co-occurrence of both risk factors in urban and industrial settings. To study the synergistic effects of PM and noise, we used an exposure system equipped with aerosol generator and loud-speakers, where C57BL/6 mice were acutely exposed for 3d to either ambient PM (NIST particles) and/or noise (aircraft landing and take-off events). The combination of both stressors caused endothelial dysfunction, increased blood pressure, oxidative stress and inflammation. An additive impairment of endothelial function was observed in isolated aortic rings and even more pronounced in cerebral and retinal arterioles. The increase in oxidative stress and inflammation markers together with RNA sequencing data indicate that noise particularly affects the brain and PM the lungs. The combination of both stressors has additive adverse effects on the cardiovascular system that are based on PM-induced systemic inflammation and noise-triggered stress hormone signaling. We demonstrate an additive upregulation of ACE-2 in the lung, suggesting that there may be an increased vulnerability to COVID-19 infection. The data warrant further mechanistic studies to characterize the propagation of primary target tissue damage (lung, brain) to remote organs such as aorta and heart by combined noise and PM exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular System , Mice , Animals , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Inflammation/chemically induced , Oxidative Stress , Aircraft
12.
Nat Rev Drug Discov ; 21(12): 872-873, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115721
13.
Sci Total Environ ; 856(Pt 2): 159162, 2023 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2105898

ABSTRACT

International air travel is now widely recognised as one of the primary mechanisms responsible for the transnational movement and global spread of SARS-CoV-2. Monitoring the viral load and novel lineages within human-derived wastewater collected from aircraft and at air transport hubs has been proposed as an effective way to monitor the importation frequency of viral pathogens. The success of this approach, however, is highly dependent on the bathroom and defecation habits of air passengers during their journey. In this study of UK adults (n = 2103), we quantified the likelihood of defecation prior to departure, on the aircraft and upon arrival on both short- and long-haul flights. The results were then used to assess the likelihood of capturing the signal from infected individuals at UK travel hubs. To obtain a representative cross-section of the population, the survey was stratified by geographical region, gender, age, parenting status, and social class. We found that an individual's likelihood to defecate on short-haul flights (< 6 h in duration) was low (< 13 % of the total), but was higher on long-haul flights (< 36 %; > 6 h in duration). This behaviour pattern was higher among males and younger age groups. The maximum likelihood of defecation was prior to departure (< 39 %). Based on known SARS-CoV-2 faecal shedding rates (30-60 %) and an equal probability of infected individuals being on short- (71 % of inbound flights) and long-haul flights (29 %), we estimate that aircraft wastewater is likely to capture ca. 8-14 % of SARS-CoV-2 cases entering the UK. Monte Carlo simulations predicted that SARS-CoV-2 would be present in wastewater on 14 % of short-haul flights and 62 % of long-haul flights under current pandemic conditions. We conclude that aircraft wastewater alone is insufficient to effectively monitor all the transboundary entries of faecal-borne pathogens but can form part of a wider strategy for public heath surveillance at national borders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wastewater , Adult , Male , Humans , Public Health Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Aircraft
14.
Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med ; 29(1): 111, 2021 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098394

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic limited hospital resources and necessitated interhospital transport of ICU-patients in order to provide critical care to all patients in the Netherlands. However, not all hospitals have an approved landing site. The ICU-transport operation was executed under HEMS-license and landing on non-aerodrome terrain was permitted. This allowed the search for an ad-hoc landing site in the direct vicinity of the ICU. The following characteristics were judged: slope, obstacles, size, soil conditions and the presence of foreign objects.Before the start of this transport operation, in two days, all hospitals in the Netherlands were visited and presumed landing sites explored, described, photographed and recorded in the electronic flight bag. At 71 (87,6 %) of the hospitals it was possible to install a temporary approved landing site in the direct vicinity of the ICU. 110 landings were made on these landing sites and 114 landings on approved heliports. Only 11 patients required secondary transport to or from the helicopter landings site. This occurred only in two patients from a heliport to a receiving hospital.The construction of pre-explored approved landing sites in the vicinity of hospitals allows safe transportation of patients by helicopter to hospitals without a heliport.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Illness , Aircraft , Critical Illness/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Indoor Air ; 32(10): e13125, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088233

ABSTRACT

Contaminant transport and flow distribution are very important during an elevator ride, as the reduced social distancing may increase the infection rate of airborne diseases such as COVID-19. Studying the airflow and contaminant concentration in an elevator is not straightforward because the flow pattern inside an elevator changes dramatically with passenger movement and frequent door opening. Since very little experimental data were available for elevators, this investigation validated the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based on the RNG k- ∈ $$ \in $$ turbulence model to predict airflow and contaminant transport in a scaled, empty airliner cabin with a moving passenger. The movement of the passenger in the cabin created a dynamic airflow and transient contaminant dispersion that were similar to those in an elevator. The computed results agreed reasonably well with the experimental data for the cabin. The validated CFD program was then used to calculate the distributions of air velocity, air temperature, and particle concentration during an elevator ride with an index patient. The CFD results showed that the airflow pattern in the elevator was very complex due to the downward air supply from the ceiling and upward thermal plumes generated by passengers. This investigation studied different respiratory activities of the index patient, that is, breathing only, breathing, and coughing with and without a mask, and talking. The results indicated that the risk of infection was generally low because of the short duration of the elevator ride. If the index patient talked in the elevator, two passengers in the closest proximity to distance would be infected.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Humans , Elevators and Escalators , Aircraft , Hydrodynamics
16.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1843, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053885

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has formulated Implementation Measures for Exemption of Crew Duty Periods and Flight Time Restrictions during the COVID-19 Outbreak. This exemption policy imposes temporary deviations from the approved crew duty periods and flight time restrictions for some transport airlines and regulates the use of multiple crews for continuous round-trip flights. However, no research has been conducted on flight crew fatigue under this exemption policy. That is, the exemption policy lacks theoretical analysis and scientific validation. METHODS: Firstly, flight plans for international flights under both the exemption and the CCAR-121 Policy schemes (with three flight departure scenarios: early morning, midday and evening) are designed, and flight plans are simulated based on the SAFE model. The Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) and the PVT objective test of alertness, both of which are commonly used in the aviation industry, are then selected for use in an empirical experimental study of flight crew fatigue on two flights subject to the exemption and CCAR-121 policies. RESULTS: The SAFE model simulation found that the fatigue risk results based on flight crews for flights departing in the early morning (4:00), at noon (12:00) and in the evening (20:00) indicate that the fatigue risk levels of flight crews operating under the exemption policy are overwhelmingly lower than or similar to those operating under the CCAR-121 policy. However, there were a few periods when the fatigue risk of crews flying under the exemption policy was higher than that of crews flying under the CCAR-121 policy, but at these times, the crews flying under both policies were either at a lower level of fatigue risk or were in the rest phase of their shifts. In the experimental study section, 40 pilots from each of the early morning (4:00), noon (12:00) and evening (20:00) departures operating under the exemption policy were selected to collect KSS scale data and PVT test data during their duty periods, and a total of 120 other pilots operating under the CCAR-121 policy were selected for the same experiment. First, the KSS scale data results found that flight pilots, whether flying under the exemption policy or under the CCAR-121 policy, had overall similar KSS scores, maintained KSS scores below the fatigue risk threshold (i.e., KSS score < 6) during the flights and that the empirical KSS data and the model simulation results from the KSS data were overall identical at the test nodes during the flight and had nearly identical trends. Finally, the results of the PVT objective test indicators showed that the overall change in 1/RT of the crews flying under the exemption policy was less than or similar to that of the crews flying under the CCAR-121 policy, while the maximum change in 1/RT of the crews under both policies was between 1 and 1.5. This indicates that the overall level of alertness of the crew flying under the exemption policy is higher than or similar to that of the crew flying under the CCAR-121 policy, while the change in alertness level of the crew before and after the mission is relatively small when flying under either policy. CONCLUSION: Based on the model simulation results and the results of the empirical study, it was verified that the overall fatigue risk level of flight crews operating under the exemption policy is lower than or similar to the fatigue risk level of flight crews operating under the CCAR-121 policy. Therefore, the exemption policy in response to the COVID-19 outbreak does not result in an overall increase in the level of flight crew fatigue risk compared to the original CCAR-121 policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Work Schedule Tolerance , Aircraft , Disease Outbreaks , Fatigue/epidemiology , Humans , Policy , Risk Assessment , Sleep/physiology , Sleep Deprivation/epidemiology , Work Schedule Tolerance/physiology
17.
Indoor Air ; 32(9): e13103, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2052595

ABSTRACT

The airliner cabin environment is very important to the health of passengers and crew members, and the use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for recirculated air in the environmental control systems (ECS) is essential for the removal of airborne particles such as SARS CoV-2 aerosols. A HEPA filter should be high efficiency, low-pressure drop, high dust-holding capacity (DHC), lightweight, and strong for use in aircraft. We conducted an experimental study on 23 HEPA filters with glass fiber media that are used in different commercial airliner models. The tested filters had a median filtration efficiency of >99.97% for particles with a diameter of 0.3-0.5 µm, a pressure drop of 134-412 Pa at rated airflow rate, and a DHC of 32.2-37.0 g/m2 . The use of nanofiber media instead of glass fiber media can reduce the pressure drop by 66.4%-94.3% and significantly increase the quality factor by analysis of literature data. The disadvantages of poor fire resistance and small DHC can be overcome by the use of flame-retardant polymers and fiber structural design. As a new lightweight and environmentally friendly filter material, nanofiber media could be used as air filters in ECS in the future.


Subject(s)
Air Filters , Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Aircraft , COVID-19/prevention & control , Dust , Filtration , Humans , Polymers , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets
18.
Respir Res ; 23(1): 256, 2022 Sep 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038756

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic in The Netherlands, critically ill ventilated COVID-19 patients were transferred not only between hospitals by ambulance but also by the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). To date, little is known about the physiological impact of helicopter transport on critically ill patients and COVID-19 patients in particular. This study was conducted to explore the impact of inter-hospital helicopter transfer on vital signs of mechanically ventilated patients with severe COVID-19, with special focus on take-off, midflight, and landing. METHODS: All ventilated critically ill COVID-19 patients who were transported between April 2020 and June 2021 by the Dutch 'Lifeliner 5' HEMS team and who were fully monitored, including noninvasive cardiac output, were included in this study. Three 10-min timeframes (take-off, midflight and landing) were defined for analysis. Continuous data on the vital parameters heart rate, peripheral oxygen saturation, arterial blood pressure, end-tidal CO2 and noninvasive cardiac output using electrical cardiometry were collected and stored at 1-min intervals. Data were analyzed for differences over time within the timeframes using one-way analysis of variance. Significant differences were checked for clinical relevance. RESULTS: Ninety-eight patients were included in the analysis. During take-off, an increase was noticed in cardiac output (from 6.7 to 8.2 L min-1; P < 0.0001), which was determined by a decrease in systemic vascular resistance (from 1071 to 739 dyne·s·cm-5, P < 0.0001) accompanied by an increase in stroke volume (from 88.8 to 113.7 mL, P < 0.0001). Other parameters were unchanged during take-off and mid-flight. During landing, cardiac output and stroke volume slightly decreased (from 8.0 to 6.8 L min-1, P < 0.0001 and from 110.1 to 84.4 mL, P < 0.0001, respectively), and total systemic vascular resistance increased (P < 0.0001). Though statistically significant, the found changes were small and not clinically relevant to the medical status of the patients as judged by the attending physicians. CONCLUSIONS: Interhospital helicopter transfer of ventilated intensive care patients with COVID-19 can be performed safely and does not result in clinically relevant changes in vital signs.


Subject(s)
Air Ambulances , COVID-19 , Aircraft , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Carbon Dioxide , Cardiac Output/physiology , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Critical Illness/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Vital Signs
19.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(8): 849-856, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2000225

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care inequity in remote and rural Indigenous communities often involves difficulty accessing health care services and supplies. Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, or drones, offer a potentially cost-effective method for reducing inequity by removing geographic barriers, increasing timeliness, and improving accessibility of supplies, equipment, and remote care. METHODS: We assessed the feasibility of drones for delivery of supplies, medical equipment, and medical treatment across multiple platforms, including drone fleet development and testing; payload system integration (custom fixed-mount, winch, and parachute); and medical delivery simulations (COVID-19 test kit delivery and return, delivery of personal protective equipment, and remote ultrasound delivery and testing). RESULTS: Drone operational development has led to a finalized, scalable fleet of small to large drones with functional standard operating procedures across a range of scenarios, and custom payload systems including a fixed-mount, winch-based and parachute-based system. Simulation scenarios were successful, with COVID-19 test swabs returned to the lab with no signal degradation and a remote ultrasound successfully delivered and remotely guided in the field. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: Drone-based medical delivery models offer an innovative approach to addressing longstanding issues of health care access and equity and are particularly relevant in the context of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Aircraft , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Unmanned Aerial Devices
20.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0271544, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1965948

ABSTRACT

Many airlines instituted social distancing practices to keep passengers safe during the pandemic. The practices include keeping the middle seats empty, reducing the number of passengers taking an apron bus from the terminal to the airplane, and prescribing that passengers maintain 1 m social distance of separation from other passengers in the aisle while advancing to their seats. However, not all passengers comply with a prescribed 1 m aisle social distance. Through agent-based simulations of passenger boarding when apron buses are used, we examine boarding policies adapted for the pandemic when the level of passenger compliance varies. To compare policies, we consider the duration of time that passengers are too close to other passengers while walking or standing in the aisle. We consider other health metrics from previous research and the time to complete boarding of the airplane. We find that the WilMA-Spread and Reverse-pyramid-Spread boarding methods provide favorable outcomes. Airlines should use WilMA-Spread if their primary concern is the risk to passengers while walking down the aisle and Reverse-pyramid-Spread if they want faster times to complete boarding of the airplane and reduced risk to aisle seat passengers from later boarding passengers. The level of the passengers' non-compliance with the prescribed aisle social distance can impact a health metric by up to 6.75%-depending on the boarding method and metric. However, non-compliance reduces the time to complete boarding of the airplane by up to 38.8% even though it increases the average time an individual passenger spends boarding.


Subject(s)
Aircraft , Physical Distancing , Motor Vehicles , Pandemics/prevention & control , Research Design
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