Devon Air Ambulance grounded during COVID-19 pandemic
Devon Air Ambulance have taken the decision to ground their helicopters to prevent the spread of COVID-19, stating that the risk to both patients and medics was too great.
This is due to insufficient space in aircrafts preventing workers and patients from keeping the recommended two metre distance and the inability of pilots to fly whilst wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is vital to ensure the safety of the healthcare workers on board.
The service declared the chance of transmission an “unacceptable risk”
As currently only a small proportion of key workers are being tested for coronavirus, the service declared the chance of transmission an “unacceptable risk” as there is no way to know if patients or staff have contracted the virus. Devon Air Ambulance’s critical care team will be supporting the NHS in other ways, with a small fleet of critical care cars on hand whilst the air ambulance service is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.