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HEMS & COVID-19

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HEMS & COVID-19

Old 25th Mar 2020, 21:28
  #1 (permalink)  
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HEMS & COVID-19

What is the consensus amongst HEMS pilots ref the COVID situation? I have recently read the article in Vertical mag & note the PPE issued to most US based operators, but what is the experience of UK based pilots? Are you able to maintain any form of decent distancing throughout your duty period? Being the only member of the crew that ain’t NHS employees, do you feel the management are asking a little much of their civvy drivers without ensuring the required levels of safety/protection?
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 23:02
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Ebola , Swine flu , AIDS and Hillary Clinton.....

This bug is nothing. More panic and excuses to control the sheeple

Arrests and resignations ongoing - The silent war continues
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 23:43
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Originally Posted by hillberg View Post
Ebola , Swine flu , AIDS and Hillary Clinton.....

This bug is nothing. More panic and excuses to control the sheeple

Arrests and resignations ongoing - The silent war continues
Why bother even answering the question with that BS.

In answer to the question, socially distancing probably can’t work in any HEMS/EMS situation, offshore transfers and other flights that are deemed essential. Although many industries and businesses have been asked to close, essential businesses can continue to work.

You can ask all employers to provide the best PPE for any workplace you are in, or request vacation etc etc. obviously claims for pay, unemployment or furloughed situations are currently a minefield where ever you are in the world.

Stay safe.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 10:59
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Here in the UK the JRCALC have issued this: Section 5.1 refers https://www.gov.uk/government/public...possible-cases
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:25
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Originally Posted by Jetscream 32 View Post
Here in the UK the JRCALC have issued this: Section 5.1 refers https://www.gov.uk/government/public...possible-cases

5.1 Utilising the most appropriate conveying resource

Possible cases must not be conveyed by:
  • a response car
  • an Air Ambulance
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 14:28
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As Jetscream says, JRCALC guidance has been issued. My partner is a HEMS doc and as the document states they are doing no transfer/retrieval of incidents where Covid19 is suspected, they are going instead by road.

She is also of the impression that her HEMS service will go offline in days. There are is less RTC related trauma at present due to the associated lockdown, furthermore ED and Anaesthetics consultants are in demand at the minute in a hospital setting.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 18:36
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Can I give some general advice for aircrew. HEMS arent grounded yet.

The important thing to remember is that 80% of infection is by aerosol. Treat ALL patients and bystanders as potentially positive. Keep the latter away. Putting a paper mask on the patient is a little help but I put a plastic oxygen mask on ALL patients as it stops most aerosol. No need to connect anything to it!

The real problem is intubation. Intubation can be done safely and is far safer than hand bagging a patient. It needs FFP3 masks and we have reusable plastic half face masks. You don it to intubate, then put it in a paper bag once the airway is isolated and use a normal helmet. Saliva and therefore suction equipment is high risk. Eye protection at all times so aircrew keep helmets on or have spare goggles. If not directly by a patient and not wearing a helmet, an ordinary mask is of no use and possible deleterious. Nitrile gloves and change them every sector.

All surfaces need regular cleaning with disinfectant or disinfectant wipes. Frames on doors get touched, headset connectors, seat controls, switches.

Aircrew are in the front so good ventilation will force air backwards. Remember our very high level helmets merely blow air inside a hood to keep us safe on ITU. Windows and vents fully open. Visors down at all times to deflect aerosol from both patient and medical crew. Dont share helmets or headsets - of course

Paper holds virus for 24 hours - pens are a source of cross infection

Hope this adds some practical advice to the published guidance which is more about direct patient care.
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 10:55
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I heard that Urine is a very effective tool in the defence of COVID-19. So I have been drinking it for the past few weeks. The side benefit is that people stay at least 2m away cos my breath is heaving!
Be like DB, Drink wee!
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 20:44
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
I heard that Urine is a very effective tool in the defence of COVID-19. So I have been drinking it for the past few weeks. The side benefit is that people stay at least 2m away cos my breath is heaving!
Be like DB, Drink wee!
Your taking the piss
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 08:32
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https://flyinginireland.com/2020/03/...ntly-grounded/

first of many?

Sorry to hear this for those employed, always sad to see a service like this stop.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 08:37
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Originally Posted by helicrazi View Post
https://flyinginireland.com/2020/03/...ntly-grounded/

first of many?

Sorry to hear this for those employed, always sad to see a service like this stop.
- This was nothing to do with Covid, they were over-tasked and under-budgeted, it was inevitable. It is extremely difficult for a HEMS service to survive purely as a charity.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 08:40
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How are they doing it in UK then?
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 08:46
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Originally Posted by homonculus View Post
Can I give some general advice for aircrew. HEMS arent grounded yet.

The important thing to remember is that 80% of infection is by aerosol. Treat ALL patients and bystanders as potentially positive. Keep the latter away. Putting a paper mask on the patient is a little help but I put a plastic oxygen mask on ALL patients as it stops most aerosol. No need to connect anything to it!

The real problem is intubation. Intubation can be done safely and is far safer than hand bagging a patient. It needs FFP3 masks and we have reusable plastic half face masks. You don it to intubate, then put it in a paper bag once the airway is isolated and use a normal helmet. Saliva and therefore suction equipment is high risk. Eye protection at all times so aircrew keep helmets on or have spare goggles. If not directly by a patient and not wearing a helmet, an ordinary mask is of no use and possible deleterious. Nitrile gloves and change them every sector.

All surfaces need regular cleaning with disinfectant or disinfectant wipes. Frames on doors get touched, headset connectors, seat controls, switches.

Aircrew are in the front so good ventilation will force air backwards. Remember our very high level helmets merely blow air inside a hood to keep us safe on ITU. Windows and vents fully open. Visors down at all times to deflect aerosol from both patient and medical crew. Dont share helmets or headsets - of course

Paper holds virus for 24 hours - pens are a source of cross infection

Hope this adds some practical advice to the published guidance which is more about direct patient care.
Apart from all BS

Thanks for this, good advices and good practices will prevent people from being infected

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Old 30th Mar 2020, 08:51
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
I heard that Urine is a very effective tool in the defence of COVID-19. So I have been drinking it for the past few weeks. The side benefit is that people stay at least 2m away cos my breath is heaving!
Be like DB, Drink wee!
what's changed DB? You always were full of piss 🤪🤪
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 10:26
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All fundraising avenues have been extinguished due to the COVID-19 pandemic
A good point. That will hold for UK air ambulances, too, how's it going to affect their funding?
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 14:23
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Hi Hugh. You are not correct Sir!. Mostly in the past I was full of SH1T!. Now, as TqTq states, I am taking the piss.
How are you doing Hugh. I hope retirement is treating you well.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 19:11
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Devon Air Ambulance have shut down their air operation. Health and Safety. They could not get far enough from each other.
An extract from the press release statement is quite clear....
Heléna Holt, CEO, explains “Standing down our aircraft has been a very difficult decision for us to make but one we have had to take in order to protect all of our crew.”
She added “Whilst the paramedics wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when treating and conveying patients, our pilots cannot operate the aircraft wearing PPE. They also cannot maintain a 2 metre distance between them and the patient. As we have no way of knowing whether a patient has coronavirus, this leaves them completely exposed within a small confined space. We hope our community will understand that this is an unacceptable risk.
"Please be assured that this is a temporary measure and subject to continual review. We will be working with colleagues in the NHS to identify other ways in which we can support the pandemic response as it develops.
"I would like to thank all of our supporters not just for the donations but also for their messages of support during this extremely challenging time. We will do our best to maintain our service and keep being there for patients, albeit by road not air.”

There may be others in the coming days, but the balance reasons given may well be different.

Most UK air ambulance are reasonably well off but they may be embarrassed by some of the "reserves reducing" capital projects they have just launched!

As for the operation in Cork that committed suicide by over reaching its funding which was always tenuous.... there are simply not enough people in Ireland to support it. It was always going to need government funding.


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Old 30th Mar 2020, 19:28
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"As we have no way of knowing whether a patient has coronavirus, this leaves them completely exposed within a small confined space. We hope our community will understand that this is an unacceptable risk."

Really? That's more risky than facing an engine/gearbox/drive shaft or other critical component failure during a hoist rescue next to a cliff face?
I don't know, just tossing it out there. HEMS isn't for everyone. For those who've chosen it as a calling, do you abandon someone in need now because you don't know the risk? Or do you mitigate the risk as best you can, and hope that your number isn't up?
I'll take my chances with it. In all likelihood, many of us will end up infected in the long run in any event.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 19:31
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Hems doesn't winch in the uk... SAR does and is still operating.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 19:34
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Originally Posted by helicrazi View Post
Hems doesn't winch in the uk... SAR does and is still operating.
Noted. I'm not in the UK, same discussions and concerns this side of the puddle
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