European aeromedical evacuation transports with SARS-COV 2 positive patients [Innereuropäische Aeromedical-Evacuation-Transporte im Rahmen von COVID-19]

Sammito S.,
Post J.,
Ritter D.M.,
Hossfeld B.,
Erley O.M.
Document Type
Source Title
Georg Thieme Verlag


Background As part of the humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the German Armed Forces provided air transport for patients to Germany from overwhelmed regional hospitals in Italy and France. Thus far, 22 Italian and 2 French citizens have been flown to Germany as part of this effort. The objective of this study is to use a pre-post comparison to analyse changes in vital signs, in particular regarding the ventilation status of the patients, and to draw conclusions for future transports of COVID-19 patients in fixed-wing aircraft. Method Retrospective analysis of transport records as well as other documents (patient movement requests, doctor's referrals, flight times) for 24 COVID-19 patients requiring ventilation. Results 63% of the patients (median age: 59.1 years) had pre-existing medical conditions. They had been ventilated for a median of 10.0 days (Min: 3, Max: 28) and experienced the first symptoms of COVID-19 a median of 17.5 days (Min: 6, Max: 35) before transport. We did not observe a deterioration in vital signs or ventilation status during transport. It was, however, necessary to deepen anaesthesia and administer additional catecholamines during transport. Conclusion The intensive care transport of ventilated COVID-19 patients requires highly qualified personnel and appropriate equipment but can be carried out if properly planned. © 2020. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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Region/Country (by coverage)
Index Keywords

catecholamine; adult; air medical transport; aircraft; Article; artificial ventilation; clinical article; clinical practice; coronavirus disease 2019; human; lung ventilation; middle aged; patient transport; retrospective study; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; vital sign