In Norway, the National CBNRE Centre of Medicine at Oslo University Hospital has the national responsibility for emergency preparedness in case of incidents such as highly contagious diseases. In 2014, they received an Ebola patient from West Africa and found that the available equipment did not fill the needs for transporting and treating high risk infectious patients.
With this experience fresh in mind, a team of doctors at the hospital began to develop the concept which is now know as the EpiShuttle. In late 2017 and early 2018, nine (9) EpiShuttle transport isolators were purchased for the Norwegian health care system and these now form part of the formal preparedness in Norway. The EpiShuttle has been deployed at all five (5) university hospitals: Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Tromsø.
The EpiShuttle is now used in a variety of settings, including:
• Pre-hospital transportation of suspected cases of highly infectious diseases
• Transportation of highly infectious patients between hospitals
“With the EpiShuttle we can safely intubate, ventilate, and perform almost any patient procedure during transport, while maintaining multiple safety barriers between the patient and the health care worker. This vastly improves the situation for both parties.
Feedback from paramedics is that the usability and safety provided by the EpiShuttle is a significant improvement.”
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