The recent COVID-19 emergency highlights the need for critical equipment to be managed in a safe way, from both patient and health operator perspectives, where persons are affected by COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.
To date, the transport of COVID-19 patients in helicopters and airplanes is extremely difficult because:
1. The cabin contamination risk is high; medical personnel must use bulky Personal Safety Equipment (PSE) which interfere with their ability to operate on the patient in an effective way; a separator in the cabin must be mounted to isolate the pilots from patient cabin, but even so the pilots must still wear uncomfortable SPD with an increase in load that could decrease their attention in critical situations.
2. Whilst transport containment systems for ground use already exist and some have been adapted to be carried on board helicopters or aircraft, nevertheless these systems aren’t designed for aircraft and their adaptation to small cabins typical of helicopters is problematic.
3. Moreover, key issues are not well addressed, such as the aeronautical certification process that requires withstanding high impact loads, or possible detriments to device functionality and patient comfort due to high vibrations and other unique aspects of the helicopter and aircraft environment.
The AvioCocoon bio-containment system is born from Boggi Aeronautics’ feedbacks received during the COVID-19 epidemic from
medical aeronautical worldwide operators.
The bio-containment systems currently available for helicopters or aircraft are devices designed for on-grounad operations that are then adapted to aeronautics. This leads to several incompatibility issues and problems of installation on fixed and rotary wing vehicles, because a unique new certification process has to be carried out
for each installation.
Moreover, some products already developed show problems of installation in helicopters. Filters installed in adapted products manages a quantity of air change adequate at low altitudes but not sufficient or a patient in critical condition flying at 3000 m or in humid/hot weather. Other issues arise when only a single respirator
is installed in bio-containment systems; in case of failure the patient could not continue to receive air.
The transportation of infectious diseases patients is critical on helicopters and aeroplanes because it imposes protective devices on the medical staff that make operations on the patient challenging.
It joins Boggi Aeronautics’ medical COVID-19 solutions together with the partitioning devices to separate the cockpit area from the cabin (crew divider) and the medical isolation kit.
AvioCoocon is the first single-patient isolation system specifically designed to be loaded on helicopters and aeroplanes for the transportation of infectious diseases
The AvioCocoon system is designed thanks to the useful suggestions provided by helicopter operators taking into consideration aeronautical requirements and the necessities of the medical staff that is fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. The equipment is developed by clinical experts with firsthand experience in intensive care, treatment and transportation of patients with
Boggi Aeronautics’ aim is to provide aviation equipment for patient transport that meets all requirements for full environmental protection from cross-contamination. The equipment is intended for the use in aviation high-risk scenarios and in everyday practice dealing with multi-resistant infections.
AvioCocoon optimizes the containment, shifting the focus from protecting pilots and medical staff against infection spread throughout the cabin environment, to containing infection at the source and keeping the cabin clean. This advance should be considered not only as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but also as preparation for equipping medical services for effective and safer interventions in the future.
AvioCocoon has been developed by aerospace engineers and air medical clinicians with many years of experience within the aviation and medical fields. The system is aligned to aviation and medical needs and meets the EASA requirement for aeronautical use.
AvioCocoon guarantees full environmental protection from cross-contamination and it is intended for use in aviation high-risk scenarios and in everyday practice dealing with multi-resistant infections.
When developing an air medical device, Boggi Aeronautics knows that the main focus is related to the safety of patients and aircrew.
The Boggi Aeronautics’ designed Aviation medical rack kit safely restrains the patients and the isolation platform from conducting complicated medical operation flights or during emergency landing conditions that the helicopter/airplane may encounter. The system attaches to the floor level through quick releases pins to be removable and switch configurations in a few minutes.
The structure is made of certified bio-compatible and non-toxic materials as per medical requirements. The hardtop capsule permits to perform sanitary maneuvers on the patient’s airways by two resuscitators and/or medical staff simultaneously thanks to the 5 entry ports near the patient’s head. A total of 13 hatches on the capsule allow to intervene easily at any patient area.
The base is specifically designed with aviation standards to comply with aeronautical regulations and to provide a resistant structure to the system.
The base and the hardtop are both rigid so that they can resists to any impact. The locking system features aeronautical lever hooks for quick release in case of
AvioCocoon has a total of 13 hatches that allow to intervene easily at any patient area.
The consumables include:
• Gloves: made from flame-resistant CSM/Hypalon.
• Sluice bag: used to transfer equipment or medicine to the patent during transport
• Waste bag: is used as a closed space for waste generated during patient transportation
• Wireport: permits a secure passage of IV lines, monitoring cables, or oxygen lines
• Storage box: practical storage box for tools, gauzes, medicines and consumables
The intensive care system allows the medical staff to medicate and give treatment to the patient without direct exposure.
AvioCocoon is designed to safely accommodate people up to 195 cm, and 120 Kg thanks to the broad structure.
The integrated mattress assures an ideal comfort for the patient and better conditions for clinical procedures. It includes restraint straps.
AvioCocoon installs two (2) powered air purifying respirators and seven (7) P3 filters.
The air ventilation system filters the air from the isolation chamber and ensures optimal patient comfort with more than 35 complete internal air exchanges per hour. AvioCocoon allows intensive operations at uninterrupted power for a minimum of 4 hours. The batteries can be replaced during transport, keeping the patient and environment safe from contamination.