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Table 1 Comparison between primary missions and interfacility transport for COVID-19 related missions by four air ambulance providers from four countries between February 1 and April 30, 2020. Data are presented as mean (SD), median (range), or number (%) as appropriate. *Percentage totals are greater than 100% because 11 patients were transported by both airplane and helicopter

From: Pre-hospital care & interfacility transport of 385 COVID-19 emergency patients: an air ambulance perspective

  Primary missions Interfacility transport p value
Total number of missions during study period 8340 3029 < 0.001
General data
Number of patients (% of missions) 119 (1.4%) 266 (8.8%)  
Age of patients, mean (SD) 65.1 (21) 59.6 (6.2) < 0.01
Male (%) 72 (60.5%) 194 (73%) 0.017
NACA Score, median (range) 3 (1–7) 4 (2–5) < 0.001
Suspected COVID-19 100 (84%) 52 (19.5%) < 0.001
Confirmed COVID-19 19 (16%) 214 (80.5%) < 0.001
Mission-related complications 2 (1.7%) 4 (1.5%) 0.99
Mode of transport
Ground ambulance accompanied by doctor 52 (44%) 42 (16%)* < 0.001
Ground ambulance without HEMS doctor attendance 34 (28.5%) 12 (4.5%)* < 0.001
Helicopter transport 19 (16%) 184 (69%)* < 0.001
Fixed-wing aircraft transport 0 48 (18%)* < 0.001
Transport to
  maximum care hospital 64 (54%) 177 (66.5%) 0.022
  basic care hospital 39 (33%) 10 (4%) < 0.001
No transport to medical facility 14 (11.5%) 1 (0.5%)* < 0.001
Medical interventions during mission
i.v. access 107 (90%) 261 (98%) < 0.001
Fluid therapy 92 (77%) 235 (88%) < 0.01
Drug administration 60 (50%) 225 (84.5%) < 0.001
Oxygen therapy 33 (28%) 205 (77%) < 0.001
NIV 5 (4%) 0 0.002
Airway management 18 (15%) 189 (70%) < 0.001
Lung ultrasound 8 (7%) 6 (2%) 0.039
CPR/use of ACCD 9 (7.5%) 1 (0.5%) < 0.001
  ECMO in total 0 14 (5%) 0.006
  vv-ECMO 0 9 (3%) 0.062
  va-ECMO 0 5 (2%) 0.329
Hygienic procedures
Facemask for spontaneously breathing patients 95 (80%) 86 (32%) < 0.001
FFP 2 (N 95) / FFP 3 (N 99) mask 82 (68%) 161 (60.5%) 0.137
Common surgical face mask 54 (45%) 87 (33%) 0.022
Safety glasses/goggles 82 (68%) 251 (94%) < 0.001
Complete personal protective equipment 38 (32%) 176 (66%) < 0.001
Final disinfection of aircraft 118 (99%) 266 (100%) 0.309
  Use of PIU in total 0 43 (16%) < 0.001
  EpiShuttle® 0 23 (8.5%) < 0.001
  Rega PIU 0 20 (7.5%) < 0.001