Germany’s FAI Air Ambulance has announced that following the purchase of a portable medical isolation unit manufactured in Norway by EpiGuard AS, known as the EpiShuttle, the company is now ready to start transporting patients with coronavirus.

The company’s Head of Sales Volker Lemke commented: “We have installed a customised stretcher configuration on a Challenger CL604 aircraft, with specific EpiShuttle equipment and accessory modules ready to deploy. We have deployed a dedicated team of 4 ICU Flight Doctors and 8 Flight Paramedics, now trained in accordance with the ECDC European Center for Disease Control Technical Directive: Infection Prevention and Control for the Care of Patients with 2019-nCoV in Healthcare Settings, February 2020.” He added: “Based on our current PIMU capability, FAI will offer transportation of patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on a case by case basis, positive case contacts will also be transported’.”

Limitations placed on patient transports include:

The Health Authority Infectious Disease Notification processes relevant to all jurisdictions has been followed and approved prior to the mission

  • Receiving care has been confirmed and the receiving hospital is fully informed and willing to accept the patient.
  • The involved ground ambulance services are briefed accordingly and accept the patient.
  • The patient and/or relevant family member/legal guardian gives consent to being transported in a PMIU after full disclosure of the risks and limitations involved.
  • The transport is not in breach of aviation restrictions in place and subject to amendment from time to time as promulgated by international agencies eg: WHO/CDC/National authorities and aviation agencies.

Furthermore, FAI said that following numerous requests from clients, it can now commence repatriations of unaffected, healthy adults and children who are in a location considered to be at high risk of transmission back to their home country, on behalf of governments, international agencies and private clients. Lemke said: “These missions are offered on our Challenger CL604 and CL850, and Global Express aircraft, for up to 13 passengers. All missions are accompanied by a trained dedicated medical team, for pre-flight temperature screening, and the availability of medical/nursing care in flight should the need arise.”