Medical flight crew members are constantly at risk of contracting the infection themselves as they fly COVID-positive patients. The United States is among the countries that have been most aggressive in vaccinating their population and trying to control the spread of the infection. However, despite all the efforts, parts of the country have seen an increased number of infections in recent times. The infections have come mainly from the newer variations of the virus, most predominantly the delta variant, which is considered more infectious than its predecessors. Moreover, there is talk about a delta plus variant, which is considered a higher risk.
The Evolving Situation for Medical Flight Crew Members
It has been increasingly evident that even those people who are fully vaccinated are vulnerable to the infection, although it is usually mild. The medical flight crew members may sometimes be exposed to high viral loads due to certain inevitable situations putting them at a very high risk to contract a more severe infection. This evolving situation has meant that newer innovations and practices are being put in place to keep them safe. The containment measures of COVID-positive patients within a medical flight are changing today.
More Flexible Containment Units are Total Available
At the core of any medical flight is the intent to save the patient and provide adequate treatment at the earliest. This has been a challenge with COVID-positive patients today, especially when they are flown for hours together from one country to another. The patient might need to be in a reclining position and sometimes supine; it all depends on the condition of the patient. The body habitus of the patient matters too. Considering all such circumstances, the containment units today are much better designed and insulated. Of course, while managing all this, they also have provisions for quick access, so that the medical personnel onboard can get to the patient quickly and safely.