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The Greek ambulance service, EKAB, acquired seven top modern isolation pods, known as EpiShuttle, from generous donations made to the company.
With the EpiShuttles in place, the ambulance service can perform patient monitoring and full intensive care of infected patients during air, sea and land transport. In case of a local outbreak, patients may now receive fast and safe transportation, even from remote locations. Thus, the EpiShuttle contributes to keep both tourists and Greek citizens safe.
Behind this innovation is a team of medical doctors and engineers with first-hand medical experience with previous epidemics, the founders of EpiGuard.
“The EpiShuttle makes transport safe, reduces costs and increases operational efficiency. An ambulance usually requires two to four hours of disinfection between every contagious transport, and with an entire helicopter, it takes almost a day,” said Ellen Cathrine Andersen, chief executive officer of EpiGuard.
The EpiShuttle is completely airtight and as a second barrier it has negative pressure with P3-filtration to prevent any contaminated air from escaping from the isolator. The EpiShuttle keeps the staff safe. Also, once the patient is loaded, medical staff do not have to wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) during transport of highly infectious patients. This allows for longer shifts and reduces the risk of mistakes due to fatigue or reduced situational awareness, Andersen explained.
In addition to 174 Mobile Intensive Care Units, EKAB has three Augusta A-109 Power helicopters. It has been recently estimated that approximately 500,000 patients are transported by EKAB per year. Furthermore, 2,000 to 2,500 medical flights were conducted per year.