Bristow Group is flying suspected COVID-19 patients in the North Sea and the Americas.
Three suspected cases have been transported from offshore energy installations in the North Sea since 18 March, as well as acutely-ill offshore workers in the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad, Tobago and Guyana. These operations included delivering test kits to isolated offshore platforms.
Bristow stated that it will continue to support medical evacuation requests to transport potentially ill or confirmed cases.
The missions were carried out by modified aircraft to ensure the necessary separation is provided between flight crew, onboard medic, and passengers. The implementation of physical barriers, protective curtains and airflow systems all adhere to the body substance isolation (BSI) precautions.
Bristow Deputy Area Manager for the Americas, David Jacob stated that “we are currently on track to be the first commercial operator in this region to implement portable, negative pressure isolation stretchers for high-risk transports involving unconsciousness, non-ambulatory, or high-risk infectious disease patients receiving invasive en route care.”
The rotorcraft are decontaminated after every flight and already equipped with aeromedical transport equipment but will potentially have further equipment added to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Jacob added that Bristow Group was prepared to expand the transport of coronavirus patients; “we are ready to help and have the experience to do it the right way and can expand this service to where needed to help battle COVID-19”.