EpiShuttle is all about protecting both patients and health care professionals.

- These are their stories.

- This is their stories.

Photo: Præhospitalet region Midtjylland Denmark

– For us, EpiShuttle is the future

The prehospital services at Region Midtjylland performed the first ever helicopter transport of a covid-19 patient with an EpiShuttle. Going forward EpiShuttle will be the standard solution when transporting potentially highly infectious patients.

Præhospitalet Region Midtjylland is the only prehospital unit with an organized department for high-risk diseases in Denmark. Their staff consists of a full crisis management team and an operational team ready to take on transport 24/7.

They acquired their first EpiShuttle back in December 2019 and now have six EpiShuttles in active duty divided between the health preparedness and in connection to corporation with the military services.

Bo Elbæk is head of the Health Preparedness Department, part of the Prehospital services and responsible for the preparedness-EMCC. Together with his department, Bo Elbæk spent years of studying and co-training with EpiGuard before acquiring the single patient isolation and transportation unit.

«We needed equipment that could provide safety for our medical staff. In addition, we saw that the product helped us be more efficient when transporting patients and that the patients themselves had a better experience when they were transported inside an EpiShuttle», says Bo Elbæk, head of the Health Preparedness Department.

During Covid-19, the operational team, by September 2021, a specialized team was activated 39 times, transporting in total 24 covid-19 patients by helicopter.

Developed best practice with focus on training

Besides the actual transport missions, the team undergoes quarterly training sessions to develop best practice and prepare for missions. The prehospital services also have more extensive training sessions, with five training sessions over the span of two years.

«The training includes among other thing standard training sessions with PPE and complete mission training with the EpiShuttle in use, meaning planning and transporting a patient from a hospital or a civilian home», explains Bo Elbæk, head of the Health Preparedness Department.

During Covid-19 the prehospital services were working closely with the military, both when it comes to training and day to day-work.

«Every second year we are planning to conduct two-day training session with the military. We highly recommend this, as it both strengthens the cooperation with the Armed Forces and gives us both great insights and food of thought when it comes to improvement», says Bo Elbæk, head of the Health Preparedness Department.

The specialized team is eager to transfer their experience to other users of the EpiShuttle system.

«In my opinion we are a very experienced staff, ranking high among others in the world when it comes to using the EpiShuttle, and we are happy to share our knowledge and skills. Our team is very secure in active operations, and we are already arranging training sessions with various hospital staff», medical staff in other regions and cooperating with other countries to develop best practice on other subjects, explains Bo Elbæk, head of the Health Preparedness Department.

– EpiShuttle will be our main form of transport

The prehospital services have utilized the EpiShuttle in various situations already and their goal for the future is to utilize the product even further. They are also looking at other more comfortable products to protect the medical staff, as different masks, and PPE with ventilation.

«This is just the beginning. EpiShuttle is the future. Going forward the EpiShuttle will be used whenever we are transporting patients we suspect have infectious diseases and patients that have consumed chemical products. In the future all potential infectious patients, with not-aerosol diseases, will be transported by land, air, and sea with the EpiShuttle», Elbæk says and lists up several diseases and situations that call for the use of EpiShuttle.

Among these diseases are hemorrhagic fever as Ebola and Lassa fever, plague, and Sars-virus.

Præhospitalet Region Midtjylland has used the helicopter EH101 during the Covid-19 pandemic, and trained in using aircrafts C130, Hercules and Challenger.

Præhospitalet

Story 1

Photo: Præhospitalet region Midtjylland Denmark

«Going forward the EpiShuttle will be used whenever we are transporting patients we suspect have infectious diseases and also patients that have consumed chemical products.»

Bo Elbæk, head of the Health Preparedness Department

Photo: FAI

«Our investments in the EpiShuttle has increased our efficiency»

By October 2020 FAI has transported patients with the EpiShuttle in 47 countries, including difficult destinations as Iraq, China, and South Sudan.

FAI Air Ambulance is one of the largest operators in Germany and one of the largest flight-ambulance operators worldwide. The ambulance division has been operating at maximum capacity to meet the high number of requests for repatriation and medical evacuation flights. Since March FAI has performed almost 70 flights of covid-19 patients in 47 countries with the medical isolation and transportation unit EpiShuttle.

The impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the aviation sector is enormous and the industry has been to massive changes in the last year.

«I am immensely proud of the way FAI Air Ambulance and our talented team of professionals responded to the immense challenges of the pandemic. We have collaborated with EpiGuard in on further development in safe isolation and transport», says Volker Lemke who heads up FAI´s Air Ambulance Division.

Airflow inside a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft can easily cause viruses to flow from the patient to the pilots. Operating an aircraft wearing personal protection accessories may not be an option, and the transport of contagious patients can put an entire crew on the ground.

With EpiShuttle the FAI crew can safely transport covid-19 patients by air for hours without the strains and discomfort of medical protection equipment.

FAI is using the aircraft Challenger 604.

FAI Air Ambulance

Story 2

47

countries

70

flights

Photo: FAI

«Our investments in the EpiShuttle have increased our efficiency in covid-19 transport and we have had flights with CBRN patients with the EpiShuttle as well.»

Volker Lemke, head of FAI Air Ambulance Division

Photo: DRF Luftrettung

«Using the EpiShuttle, the medical crew can concentrate fully on the medical monitoring and care of the patient»

During the pandemic initial stage, one of the largest air rescue organizations in Europe, German DRF Luftrettung, experienced a massive demand for safe corona transport.

Last year the German rescue organization performed 662 coronavirus missions, with 330 patients transported by air. The safety and health of both patients and crew are of the utmost priority, and EpiShuttles play an important role in their comprehensive hygiene concept.

«By using the EpiShuttle isolation stretcher, all crew members are optimally protected during intensive care transports, which often last several hours. Also, the strain of wearing tight-fitting, personal protective clothing is significantly reduced», says Dr. Jörg Braun, Head of the Medicine Department at DRF Luftrettung.

In 2020 the DRF Luftfrettung and Luxembourg Air Rescue were awarded the Adenauer-de Gaulle prize for their outstanding contribution to Franco-German solidarity ’ in the pandemic. The two air rescue services performed the majority of helicopter transports of French patients to hospitals in Germany and back again. Cross-border cooperation has been critical to saving lives in coronavirus hot spots when the capacity of intensive care units has been limited.

DRF Luftrettung is using the aircraft Eurocopter EC145.

DRF Luftrettung

Story 3

Photo: DRF Luftrettung

«With the EpiShuttle we fly patients quickly, safe and optimally monitored to a hospital with a free intensive care bed with ventilation.»

Dr. Jörg Braun, Head of the Medicine Department at DRF Luftrettung

Photo: Keewatin Air LP

«Safe transport is key to handle the pandemic»

Keewatin Air can with their EpiShuttles offer fast and safe transport, even from remote locations.

With the EpiShuttles in place, the medivac services providers can perform patient monitoring and full intensive care of infected patients during air, sea, and land transport.

Keewatin Air´s aircraft PC-12 is widely used in the north, where its short takeoff and landing capabilities make it able to service the smallest and remote communities with modest airstrips. This includes missions to Alert which is the most northerly community in Canada and the world at latitude 82 degrees about 800 miles from the North pole.

«We found the EpiShuttle to have unparalleled features. The EpiShuttle allows patient monitoring and full intensive care treatment during transport, including emergency procedures like intubation. In addition, for Covid-19 patients, the adjustable backrest is extremely important to keep coughing at a minimum. However, it was the fact that the EpiShuttle is re-usable, making it the most cost-efficient product on the market, which made us decide on the EpiShuttle», says Janet Busse.

Kewatiin Air is using the aircraft PC-12.

Story 4

Keewatin Air

Photo: Keewatin Air LP

«We found the EpiShuttle to have unparalleled features.»

Janet Busse, Executive Director of Medical Operations at Keewatin Air

Photo: Air Alliance Medflight GmbH