Air ambulance provider AeroMD has expanded its ICU-level capability as the coronavirus continues to put pressure on healthcare systems

AeroMD recently added a Cessna Citation Bravo jet to its US Virgin Islands-based medical evacuation fleet. In conjunction with strategic aviation partner Bohlke International Airways, the jet was selected for exceptional safety and its spacious cabin to accommodate a patient stretcher and extensive medical equipment. Strategically enhancing the fleet amid Covid-19 allows AeroMD to accommodate both patients testing positive and those displaced by secondary effects of the disease.

“This new asset adds redundancy and depth to the fleet, allowing us to help more patients simultaneously and reliably,” said AeroMD President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brendan Anzalone. “Particularly in this time of need during the coronavirus pandemic, we are pleased to be able to enhance the fleet.”

Right aircraft for air medical transfers

The new aircraft, a Cessna 550B Citation Bravo, has a maximum range of 1,720 miles with a top speed of 459 miles per hour. The St Croix-based Tradewinds Flight Center team is certified to perform maintenance on this airframe so that downtime will be minimal. A cabin volume of 278 cubic feet readily fits a patient stretcher with seating for a patient companion and medical team members, including a flight nurse, respiratory practitioner, or flight paramedic. A full complement of medical equipment is easily accommodated onboard within the aircraft’s dedicated medevac configuration, including a Carefusion EnVe® critical care ventilator and a Zoll X-series cardiac monitor/defibrillator. Also allowing space for a portable laboratory and onboard critical care pharmacy, the plane is essentially a flying intensive care unit.

Air medical resources boosted in the Caribbean

“Bespoke to the 1,700 Caribbean missions we have flown since 2015, the addition of this Citation Bravo provides additional resources capable of serving the growing needs of residents and tourists throughout the Caribbean Basin and beyond. The proven safety record and characteristics of this Cessna aircraft, along with our geographic expertise, allow our team to respond at any hour to assist patients and families in crisis,” said Allan Adler, Vice-President of AeroMD.

The leadership of AeroMD proactively invested in specialized medical equipment at the onset of the pandemic, including extensive personal protective equipment and negative pressure isolation patient transport pods. Undertaking pandemic-specific training, the medical team dedicates daily continuing education sessions preparing to help Covid-19-positive patients.

The transfer of Covid patients takes particular care, attention and equipment, on which AirMed&Rescue has reported extensively.