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Travel Med Infect Dis ; 40: 101973, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065626


Aircrew fitness-to-fly is among the elements that make aviation the safest form of long-distance transport. The health of cabin crew is a crucial determinant in carrying out safety-related duties. 'Fitness-to-fly' is associated with defined workplace conditions, for which airlines have a legal duty to ensure fitness for employment. We explored the literature on fitness-to-fly to obtain a pragmatic assessment of the challenges for aeromedical examinations. Regulations promulgated by aviation regulatory authorities and airline-internal policies have similar status and meaning, yet there is no harmonised approach internationally, and an inability to conform periodic medical assessments to actual operational fitness. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to better understand fitness-to-fly criteria. Fitness-to-fly measures are mainly based on self-reported data and there is a need for a 'safety' factor for self-reports. Aeromedical evaluations should evolve from meeting medical standards to include pandemics as an element of the overall risk of aircraft operations. Re-evaluating criteria for fitness-to-fly assessment will further the goal of linking research to the actual needs of public health decisionmakers. If airlines are to resume operations at pre-pandemic levels, they must demonstrate to the public and public health agencies that fitness-to-fly assessment is appropriate and effective.

Aircraft/standards , Aviation/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Workplace/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Workforce , Humans , Occupational Health/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Policy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Self Report
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