Using experience gained during the summer pandemic peak when, at the request of the Luxembourg government, EAA transported Covid-19 patients between hospitals in France where health services were overstretched, they are now able to roll the service out on a wider international basis. EAA has developed the protocols to ensure the safety of patients confirmed or suspected to have the virus, and the medical and flight crews treating and transporting them. Didier Dandrifosse, Head of Medical Department, said: “At EAA we are first of all committed to ensuring safe working environment for our personnel together with the safety and quality of care for our patients. Our responsibility is also to avoid at all cost the additional spreading of the virus. Our clients can be reassured that we take all the necessary precautions on every mission.”Protocol activation procedure
The control centre will activate different protocols depending on whether the patient has a confirmed positive or negative diagnosis and depending on their general condition, with additional procedures for those whose Covid-19 status is unknown.
In some cases, the use of an IsoPod or Infectious Disease Unit (IDU) may be required. EAA’s IDU is a tent-like module originally designed for the safe transport of Ebola patients, which has been adapted for Covid-19.
It gives the patient space to move around, and allows for non-intensive treatment while still being completely isolated from the surroundings. An IsoPod is a smaller individual barrier-type unit, suited to patients not needing treatment, but which protects the medical team from infection. Due to restricted size inside, the IsoPod is not suitable for obese patients or patients who suffer from anxiety or claustrophobia. Dandrifosse added: “Protecting patients and staff is our number-one priority. Thanks to our experience transporting infectious disease patients in the past, we have been able to put these new Covid-19 procedures in place to allow us to continue to do that – but on a much wider basis - through these difficult times.”
Ronaldo transportation confirmed
Meanwhile, EAA confirmed to AirMed&Rescue that it was the provider of choice when world-renowned footballer Cristiano Ronaldo tested positive for coronavirus, but still needed to travel to Italy from Portugal. He was transported onboard the company’s Learjet 45XR using the IDU.