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Transferring patients with Ebola by land and air: the British military experience
  1. Ian Ewington1,2,
  2. E Nicol3,
  3. M Adam1,4,
  4. A T Cox1,5 and
  5. A D Green1
  1. 1Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Centre of Aviation Medicine, RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire, UK
  4. 4Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK
  5. 5St George's University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Wg Cdr Ian Ewington, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine Headquarters, Level 2, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2WB, UK; ianewington1{at}


The Ebola epidemic of 2014/2015 led to a multinational response to control the disease outbreak. Assurance for British aid workers included provision of a robust treatment pathway including repatriation back to the UK. This pathway involved the use of both land and air assets to ensure that patients were transferred quickly, and safely, to a high-level isolation unit in the UK. Following a road move in Sierra Leone, an air transportable isolator (ATI) was used to transport patients for the flight and onward transfer to the Royal Free Hospital. There are several unique factors related to managing a patient with Ebola virus disease during prolonged evacuation, including the provision of care inside an ATI. These points are considered here along with an outline of the evacuation pathway.


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