• Descriptive record of the activity of military critical care transfer teams deployed to London in 20 April to undertake transfer of patients with COVID-19

      James, Robert Hywel; Doyle, C.P.; Cooper, D.J. (2020-12-28)
      In the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, military healthcare teams were deployed to London to assist the London Ambulance Service t transfer ventilated patients between medical facilities. This paper describes the preparation and activity of these military teams, records the lessons identified (LI) and reviews the complications encountered’. The teams each had two members. A consultant or registrar in emergency medicine (EM) and pre-hospitalemergency medicine (PHEM)E or anaesthesia and an emergency nurse or paramedic. Following a period of training, the teams undertook 52 transfers over a 14-day period. LI centred around minimising both interruption to ventilation and risk of aerosolisation of infectious particles and thus the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to the treating clinicians. Three patient-related complications (6% of all transfers) were identified. This was the first occasion on which the Defence Medical Services (DMS) were the main focus of a large-scale clinical military aid to the civil authorities. It demonstrated that DMS personnel have the flexibility to deliver a novel effect and the ability to seamlessly and rapidly integrate with a civilian organisation. It highlighted some clinical lessons that may be useful for future prehospital emergency care taskings where patients may have a transmissible respiratory pathogen. It also showed that clinicians from different backgrounds are able to safely undertake secondary transfer of ventilated patients. This approacmay enhance flexibility in future operational patient care pathways. https://militaryhealth.bmj.com/content/early/2020/12/28/bmjmilitary-2020-001619 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjmilitary-2020-001619