Bristow Americas Aids in COVID-19 Transport Effort

Bristow Americas Aids in COVID-19 Transport Effort
This photo shows one of Bristow's rescue helicopters. PHOTO SOURCE: Bristow Group, Inc.

Offshore aviation firm Bristow Group, Inc. reported Tuesday that its Americas search and rescue (SAR) teams have successfully transported offshore workers with suspected cases of COVID-19 in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

“In the Americas Region, we have always possessed the ability to safely transport potentially infectious patients in our SAR aircraft," commented Bristow Americans Senior Vice President Rob Phillips in a written statement emailed to Rigzone. “Though, the current response is the most comprehensive to date, consisting of a well-coordinated and aligned multiagency and multinational effort.”

Bristow stated that it has safety completed 24 successful requests to transport offshore workers and COVID-19 test kits to remote and isolated offshore platforms, drilling rigs and drill ships since Jan. 29, 2020. The firm, which uses a specially configured and equipped SAR aircraft, added that it will continue to support emergency medical evacuation requests to transport potentially infectious patients – including suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

“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 infection disease patients receiving invasive en-route care,” noted David Jacob, Bristow Americas’ deputy area manager.

The firm pointed out that it follows universal and body substance isolation (BSI) precautions, physical barriers and other specialty equipment within the aeromedicine transport environment. It added that it will take additional precautions to the patient encounter and follow-on transport in conjunction with the level of potential infection.

“If COVID-19 is suspected, additional resources and authorities are contacted to determine the best course of action,” Bristow stated. “Upon tasking completion, the aircraft is completely disinfected and returned to service.”

Bristow also noted that it is working closely with clients, medical control authorities, hospitals, state health departments, federal agencies, health ministries, port authorities and others in the Western Hemisphere supporting international rescue operations.

“Our past, proven success with safely transporting patients with infectious diseases shows that our fleet of specially configured AW139, S-76 and S-92 helicopters, and more importantly, the training of our crews can safely and effectively transport suspected COVID-19 cases without infecting others,” Jacob concluded.

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