The Southern Naval Command undertook medical evacuation trials on 8 Apr 20 in order to prepare for contingency requiring transfer personnel from Lakshadweep islands who may require medical assistance and for ships at sea in the aftermath of COVID19.
Trials for the evacuation of patients have undertaken onboard an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and inside isolation capsule in Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy. The feasibility study was undertaken for in-house modification to isolate the cockpit and cabin area by installing a polythene film screen to prevent any kind of contact with the patient.
The aircrew in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gear undertook the sortie to understand the nuances of flying with additional gears. The aircraft was flown at different heights to understand the efficacy of aircraft modification and the effect of PPE on aircrew. An exercise of airlifting the patient was also simulated.
Post transfer of patients to medical authorities the aircraft and aircrew were sanitized to mitigate the risk of infection. The exercise was completed successfully and has paved the way to undertake evacuation from L & M Islands and ships at sea in the future.