Just when you needed some good news in the world, Germany has utilized a Luftwaffe flying hospital to move patients out of Italy for care.
Germany’s Luftwaffe Airlifting Patients From Italy
A reader pointed me to a Facebook post displaying the inside of a German Luftwaffe A310 flying hospital. The following stats regarding the aircraft were given about the aircraft moving patients from Bergamo to Germany:
- Intensive care ventilator “Evita 4” transport ventilator “Oxylog 3000”
- Multi-function monitor “Propaq EL106”
- (2) triple syringe pumps “Combimat 2000”
- Suction pump “Accuvac”
ADDITIONALLY ON BOARD
- 16 “Micropaq” patient monitors
- 1 “I-Stat” blood gas analyzer
- 2 flexible bronchoscopes
- “SonoSite” portable ultrasound system
- 6 “Barkey” patient warming systems
- 12-lead ECG
- 2 defibrillators
- 16 “Combimat 2000” triple syringe pumps
- 4 Medumat LifeBase III
- 4 “IP 2000” infusion pumps
- 1 central monitor system
- 1 refrigerator for medical chilled goods
Band-Aid, Not the Whole Solution
The dozens of patients heading to Germany are the tip of the iceberg, but it’s an important band-aid. Transferring patients from overwhelmed hospitals to places with capacity is a band-aid over a gunshot wound, but it’s a start.
I have several friends and family members in the medical industry, doctors, nurses, consultants. Their stories are anecdotal and not representative of the whole. Some work in California, Florida, Nebraska, and Texas among other states. Many have reported that they have an unexpected capacity in their hospitals. Why? Fewer cars on the road, fewer workplace injuries and most of all, people are staying home unless they have an emergency. One Emergency Room nurse reported that in his hospital, he went from seeing dozens of patients every day to just one or two.
The University of Nebraska-Omaha Med Center where Coronavirus research is taking place, has nurses looking for hours. They have hospital beds open, so do regional hospitals in Texas. Perhaps flying patients (that are in a condition to be flown) could be transferred to hospitals outside of hot zones like New York City where they can get the care they need.
What We Need To See In The World
Countries are closing their borders, the US was the first to close to China, then Europe; almost all other countries have followed suit. There is nationalism and blame going around but really, this is a moment to unite. Perhaps the best sign of that this week was the Luftwaffe flight departing for Germany. When democrats and republicans (except for one) and President Trump can agree on stock buyback limitations and distribution of $2 trillion, the largest bill ever to pass in the US, there couldn’t be a clearer indicator that coming together and finding common ground will help get us out of this mess.
It made my day to see countries lending a hand to help one another, I hope it makes your day too.
There’s plenty of bad news in the world today, and while this isn’t the end-all, be-all solution to flattening the curve of coronavirus below where the healthcare system can handle it – it’s a great start.
What do you think? Should more patients be transferred to hospitals with capacity? Which governments should do this next?
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