Royal Air Force Medics have been practicing their operating procedures and testing high-tech medical equipment in preparation for real-life deployments in the UK or Overseas which they carry out on a regular basis.
Medical professionals from across the RAF descended onto RAF Brize Norton yesterday and practiced their skills and tested equipment to develop understanding of the procedures to be carried out in a casualty situation involving highly infectious diseases. The Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Flight within the Tactical Medical Wing, organised and led the exercise.
"The ATI (Air Transportable Isolator) is a vital piece of equipment that is used to repatriate highly infectious patients safely. It is not deployed routinely, making it essential to regularly exercise the capability and practitioners to maintain skills and competency. This quality assurance exercise has involved a range of medical professions from across the RAF, it is designed to help us prove that we can deliver the ATI capability, ensuring that these processes are well rehearsed and possibly identify potential improvements to any of the procedures. Leadership, teamwork and communication are at the heart of this mission, with so many personnel involved and a range of processes to follow it is essential that everyone works together to provide professional care to the patient.”
Flight Sergeant Susan Jenkins
Infection Prevention and Control Nurse
The exercise involved the Air Transportable Isolator (ATI) which is a high-tech biological containment facility which acts as a secure ‘bubble’, used to transport casualties with highly contagious and virulent diseases. It holds a bespoke stretcher and other equipment which allows the medics to be able to work in a safe environment and provide effective care throughout the patient’s journey.
The ATI is a vital asset of the Department of Health and maintained by the RAF on behalf of the British Government. In recent history the ATI was used for the transfer of Ebola patients who were exposed to the virus in Sierra Leone.