Measles patient transported with EpiShuttle

In early May 2019, paramedics Bård Erik Nilsson and Stian Fischer were on call at the ambulance service in Oslo. Just before midnight they got a call from a doctor at the emergency ward who had an adult male patient with a suspected case of measles. The patient needed to be transferred to the isolation ward at Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital for further care.

Measles is a dangerous, highly contagious disease with potentially severe outcomes and limited treatment options. It’s therefore important that utmost care is taken when transporting patients with measles, particularly as there has been a decline in vaccination rates over the last few years and a resulting increase in the number of people susceptible to the virus.

As described in their procedures, Bård Erik and Stian donned full personal protective equipment (PPE) upon arrival at the emergency ward to ensure that they weren’t exposed to the virus. Once the patient was loaded into the EpiShuttle, however, they could safely remove their PPE and continue the rest of the operation in their standard uniforms.

“It’s so much easier to concentrate on the mission and be aware of your surroundings when you don’t have to wear heavy PPE. This is a real safety advantage when using the EpiShuttle. It was also far easier to communicate with the patient.”

Stian Fischer

When they had a quiet period later, Bård Erik and Stian disinfected the EpiShuttle and prepared it for future use. The user manual guided them through the process, which was straightforward. Subsequent to a risk assessment, they replaced gaskets and seals on the glove ports that had been used, leaving the unused gloves in place.

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