Air Ambulance to resume patient transfers in support of Covid-19 response

East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) is preparing to resume patient transfers between hospitals in a bid to support the NHS and frontline emergency services with the Covid-19 response.  


As the region braces itself for the pandemic’s second wave, EAAA anticipates facilitating the transfer of both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients to help balance capacity in intensive care units. 


The patients which will be transferred, whether Covid-19 or non-Covid-19, will all be critically ill, intubated and anaesthetised. 


The charity supported the transfer of 17 critically ill Covid-19 positive patients by road ambulance between April and May of this year. In this second wave, the air ambulance will also be facilitating non-Covid-19 patient transfers on the helicopter. 


The transfers will take place alongside the charity’s normal air ambulance work and will act as a back-up to hospitals that cannot facilitate 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. 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. 


“We encourage everyone to follow the Public Health England 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.” 


The charity saw a 10% increase in emergency taskings between August and October compared to last year, and its operational bases in Norwich and Cambridge remain closed to the general public and non-essential staff. In its current financial year, the organisation is predicting a fundraising income shortfall of £1.7m due to the pandemic. 


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