The Foundation of the French Academy of Medicine (FAM) and the Airbus Foundation, with the support of the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health, are installing “medical bubbles” to protect the medical staff during the transfer of COVID-19 patients on board the SAMU helicopters.
This device was invented by the Dijon company Bâche 21 (supported by Alu Concept) with the help of Dijon’s SAMU teams and the support and involvement of Airbus Helicopters engineers, to meet the needs of medical teams: transporting contagious patients who have not been intubated, easily disinfecting aircraft between flights, protecting them from droplet projections and facilitating installation on stretchers.
The FAM, in partnership with the Airbus Foundation, conducts training in helicopter emergency medicine. Over the past five years, it has trained more than 5,000 medical personnel worldwide in the use of rescue helicopters. She was informed of this system by one of her volunteers, Dr Hervé Roy, head of the Dijon SAMU.
Nearly 1000 patients have been transferred from saturated hospitals to less tense structures in France, hundreds are transported by SAMU helicopters. In order to reduce the time of disinfection of the helicopter between each transport and thus increase the number of transfers while ensuring the protection of the nursing staff and the crews, the FAM and the Airbus Foundation wished to bring a concrete help to the crews of the SAMU by offering them bubbles of protection called BRAVE to ensure the transport of the contaminated patients in full safety.
We were able to equip 20 SAMU helicopters and we hope, with the Airbus Foundation, to equip about 20 more in the coming weeks out of the 40 helicopters operating in the SAMU in France.
The FAM would like to thank: the Airbus Foundation, its longstanding partner and support and its entire team; the engineers at Airbus Helicopters for their perseverance, Laurie Ceccan, Ralph Setz; Babcock (owner of the Dijon helicopter), SAF and MBH for their support and for believing in this project; the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile for the exceptional flight authorization during the crisis.
Thanks to : Hervé Roy, Anthony Grand, Christophe Marilly, Eric Léger, Albert-Claude Benhamou, Yannick Millet, Florian Bruyère, Yannick Budin, Fabrice Barreau, Antoine Garrigue.
Download the press release here.