COVID-19 Town Hall: Air Ambulance Transport during COVID-19

July 7, 2020

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Key take-aways:

  • Using dedicated aircraft for known COVID-positive patients may help reduce down time for decontamination keeping more aircraft in service.
  • Temporary use of scrubs instead of flight suits may be appropriate in some circumstances when considerations include crew fatigue, turnaround time for decontamination, and laundering logistics.
  • HEPA filtration in aircraft may filter circulated air, but it does not always filter the air between you and the person in front of you. Continued use of appropriate PPE is essential, and crews cannot depend solely on HEPA filters within certain aircraft.
  • There continues to be a paucity of data regarding aerosol-generating procedures and their use within rotor-wing or fixed-wing airframes, but current practice is to limit AGPs similar to ground ambulance services.
  • Certain PPE configurations can make headset communication almost impossible.  Services must find the right PPE to fit with their night vision equipment, helmets, and/or microphones as applicable and fit-test with these unique configurations at altitude when possible.


NAEMSP President David K. Tan, MD, EMT-T, FAAEM, FAEMS


  • Leslie Osborn, MD
  • Angela Cornelius, MD, FACEP
  • Ray Bennett, BSN, RN


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