Air ambulance to transfer patients in support of NHS and emergency services
- Credit: Archant
The East Anglian Air Ambulance is preparing to restart transferring patients between hospitals in a bid to support NHS and frontline emergency services with the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the region braces itself for a second wave of Covid-19 cases, the EEAAA is readying itself to help transfer both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients between the area’s hospitals to help balance capacity in intensive care units.
Patients who will be transferred, whether they have tested positive for Covid-19 or not will all be critically ill, intubated and anaesthetised.
During the first wave of the pandemic the EAAA helped transfer 17 critically ill Covid-19 positive patients by road ambulance between April and May of this year and between August and October saw a 10pc increase in emergency calls compared to the previous year.
During the anticipated second wave, the air ambulance helicopter will also be used to carry out non-Covid-19 patient transfers.
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The transfers will take place alongside the charity’s normal air ambulance work and will act as a back-up to hospitals that cannot run the transfers themselves.
Doctor Victor Inyang, medical director at EAAA, said: “It’s vital to us as a charitable organisation that we continue to support the NHS and other frontline emergency services with the crisis response to the pandemic.
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“Our teams have the pre-hospital critical care skills to be able to assist in these transfers, and we’re happy to help wherever we can alongside our 999 call outs.”
Dr Inyang, said the pandemic still posed a lot of challenges and urged people to follow Public Health England guidance.
He said: “We encourage everyone to follow the PHE guidance, including staying at home, wearing a mask and regularly washing hands, despite the optimistic news of a vaccine becoming available at the end of the year/early next year.
“This is a hugely challenging time for us all, both personally and professionally. Please continue to look out for each other and stay safe during the second lockdown.”
Like many charitable organisations in the East, the EAAA’s fundraising income has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
And the charity is predicting a fundraising income shortfall of £1.7m this financial year due to the outbreak.