Last year DRF Luftrettung performed 662 coronavirus missions, with 330 patients transported by air. Their EpiShuttles play an important role in their comprehensive hygiene concept and are investments in the safety and health of both patients and crew.
2020 turned out exceptionally busy for German DRF Luftrettung, one of the largest air rescue organizations in Europe. To be able to meet the high demand and challenging flights, it was crucial to develop systems and routines to protect both crewmembers and patients further.
By using the EpiShuttle isolation stretcher, all crewmembers are optimally protected during these 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.
Before Christmas 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. The cross-border cooperation has been critical to save lives in times of corona virus hot spots and limited capacity of intensive care units.
Using the EpiShuttle, the medical crew can concentrate fully on the medical monitoring and care of the patient. In this way, we fly patients quickly, safe and optimally monitored to a hospital with a free intensive care bed with ventilation, says Dr. Jörg Braun, Head of the Medicine Department at DRF Luftrettung.
Even before the pandemic, DRF Luftrettung was testing the EpiShuttle for transportation of patients with infectious diseases as meningococci, measles, tuberculosis and influenza. Now DRF Luftrettung has 12 EpiShuttles in use. With high infection rates in the German state of Saxony, they recently equipped their station in Bautzen with their newest EpiShuttle.
Collaborating with professional partners like DRF, who share their first-hand experience with the EpiShuttle in use, gives us great input on further research and development. We are also happy to see how DRF Luftrettung is designing and developing own tools for their specific needs, like the ground plate for mounting the EpiShuttle in their helicopters. From Oslo we are glad to see how their work is appreciated, as with the Adenauer-de Gaulle prize, says Ellen Cathrine Andersen, CEO in EpiGuard.