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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Transporting Intensive Care Patients

Transporting Intensive Care Patients with EAA

European Air Ambulance prides itself on providing patients with a level of critical care in transit that you would expect to find in an advanced hospital ICU.

We can carry the vast majority of patients needing intensive care – whether adult, child or premature baby - and provide highly specialised transports involving advanced life support techniques such as ECMO.

We can also carry certain critical care patients that many other air ambulance companies simply cannot.

transporting intensive care patientThere are difficulties and risks associated with any intensive care repatriation, whether the patient is sick, injured or terminally ill; however the potential for problems is minimised due to our expert medical teams and state-of-the-art equipment (see below).

Every request is evaluated individually using a risk/benefit assessment, where the risk in transport is judged against the benefit of repatriation and the likelihood of a poor outcome if the patient were to remain abroad.

In theory therefore, if a patient falls seriously ill in a country where only basic medical treatment is available, then the benefit of repatriation will outweigh the risk in transport. If the same patient falls ill in a country where advanced medical care is available, remaining in situ may present less of a risk than travelling.

In practice however, the treatment offered by our expert team of specialist medics is so advanced that most patients can be transported with confidence.

Repatriation is only refused in a few rare cases on medical grounds; and where EAA is logistically unable to retrieve a patient – for example from an active war zone – we will collaborate with air ambulance partners who specialize in the field.

Every European Air Ambulance mission is planned according to the specific medical needs of the patient, with staff and equipment selected and adapted to suit from the wide-ranging human and technical resources available.

Human resources:

EAA recruits only highly-qualified, experienced and dedicated medical staff, who undergo continuous training and remain clinically active to maintain their skills:

  • >90% Anaesthetists at Consultant level
  • >90% have subspecialty in Critical Care/Emergency Medicine
  • Pool of specialists (eg Neonatologist, Obstetrician, Surgeon)
  • Multi-layer recruitment process with high-standard entry requirement
  • Compulsory continuous training (in-house simulator and external)
  • All physicians remain clinically active, maintaining skills in daily work
  • 24/7 availability of medical supervisor for safety back-up/2nd opinion
  • Multilingual teams (English, French, German, Dutch, Hindi, Polish, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Flexibility in rostering (minimum 3 physicians and 3 nurses per day)
  • Variable flight crew options (eg 2 physicians, 2 flight nurses)
  • Control Center available 24/7, staffed with qualified nurse and physician back-up

Technical resources:

intensive care unitEAA’s aircraft are all dedicated air ambulances set up to monitor and treat ICU patients, with options for single or double-stretcher transport, and equipped with a minimum of:

  • ICU respirator (LTV1200, BREAS; Hamilton T1)
  • Corpuls C3 (invasive and non-invasive monitoring including capnography, with integrated defibrillator)
  • 6 x Syringe pumps  (Braun compact)
  • 1 x Infusion pump
  • POC blood analysis (i-STAT)
  • Suction pump (Accuvac)
  • Transcutaneous Haemoglobin measurement (Pronto 7)
  • Intraosseous access (EZ-IO)
  • Video-laryngoscope (C-Mac)
  • Vacuum Mattress
  • Ampoule kit with >65 medications (including Metalyse)
  • Equipment/disposables for emergency procedures (chest drain, tracheostomy etc)


See our medical equipment


Check our medical clearance procedure

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