The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), originated in the city of Wuhan, China. It is a global pandemic affecting almost all the world’s countries. The authorities have proactively taken steps and issued health warnings to prevent further spread of the disease. One of the significant steps was border lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Coronavirus is a highly contagious virus which is transmitted when droplets brought about by coughing or sneezing are inhaled or when in contact with contaminated objects such as mobile phones, door handles, computer keyboard/mouse etc. Although the virus has its roots in China, it was the travellers who inadvertently spread it across the world. A pandemic exerts pressure on a country’s healthcare system and the financial system.
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This blog from ICATT Air Service gives you the information about how the air ambulance service helps transfer medical emergencies patients in times of COVID-19 and the inflight medical care offered in our air ambulances.
Can medical emergency patients be taken by air ambulance in times of COVID-19?
Yes, subject to the prevalent rules in the country of destination, it is possible to transport a patient via an air ambulance. Air ambulances have medical devices available in a modern ICU. The medical and air personnel operating the aircraft are equipped with N95 respirators, PPE, and sterile gloves both for their protection and as well for the patients. Also, the aircraft, in between each flight, is thoroughly sanitised.
Before the commencement of the flight, our medical doctor shall conduct a medical screening of the patient and the family member flying with the patient before deeming the patient as a candidate fit for flight. As soon as the patient is cleared to fly, the patient shall be transferred.
- As health care providers, we must take all special precautions to make sure the patient and attendars are COVID-19 negative . At ICATT our mission remains the same 24/7 availability to meet the medical transportation needs of our patients.
- We continue to work as usual. Our call centre is open all the time. If you have patients who need medical flights, please contact ICATT.
- Many facilities have guidelines for patient transfers. We are up to date and follow all state and local guidelines and individual hospital protocols.
- Given the smooth countermeasures for COVID-19, we remain flexible for the transportation of patients on departure and arrival.
What are the prevention measures taken in air ambulances after and before the patient travelling?
As health care providers, we must take all special precautions that apply to COVID-19. We continue to care for those in need. At ICATT, our mission remains the same – 24/7 availability to meet the medical transportation needs of patients.
- We follow the guidelines and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including health advice.
- The patient, and the accompanying family member, are screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and other airborne diseases by our medical doctors before the flight.
- We provide specialised training to flight personnel for transportation of highly infectious patients in terms of proper donning and doffing of full PPE (personal protective equipment), safe lifting and loading of patients.
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- Provide guidelines and practical experience for decontamination, fumigation and thorough cleaning after a flight.
- In order to avoid the spread of infection air ambulances are equipped with modern isolation cells, which also facilitate a comfortable and safe place for the patient to lie down.
- We share information with both the hospitals, at the pickup and drop locations, to ensure strong communication channels are open and transportation is safe.
Why is an air ambulance important in the transfer of a medical emergency patient?
- The air ambulance has experienced intensive care doctors and flight nurses.
- Air ambulances have equipment for planned or unexpected treatment, intubation, ventilation, and cardiovascular support.
- If the patient is in a rural area and has exhausted all the treatment options, then the patient is transferred to other well-equipped hospitals in cities. They are taken safely and quickly compared to ground ambulances.
- Air ambulance has procedures and equipment for problematic airway management and peri-arrest scenarios.
- Air ambulance provides full observation of patients in the intensive care unit, including the possibility of a laboratory for diagnostic testing.
ICATT Air Ambulance mission, vision, and core values focus exclusively on patient care. We, as health professionals, must commit to everything we serve more than ever before while following good practice and following local and federal government recommendations.
If you have any further questions as to the safety measures we take in times of Corona through our air ambulances, please contact our team at 9701111156. Our team is ready to help you around the clock, also on weekends and public holidays.