HomeNewsArticle Display

School of Aerospace Medicine trains teams to treat, transport COVID-19 patients

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) --

Medical professionals from the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine are training medics at Joint Base Charleston on the use of the Transport Isolation System to move patients affected by COVID-19 aboard military cargo aircraft.

The TIS is an infectious disease containment unit designed to minimize risk to aircrew and medical attendants, while allowing in-flight medical care for patients afflicted by contagions like COVID-19. The TIS represents an important tool in Air Mobility Command’s COVID-19 response to safely transport patients afflicted by the virus.

“Right now, in the midst of this global pandemic, we have forces in harm’s way around the world,” explained Col. Leslie Wood, Air Mobility Command en route care medical director. “Because of the requirements of transporting personnel with infectious diseases like COVID-19, we can’t use our traditional methods of transport without risking the medical crew in the back of the plane, and the rest of the crew in the front. And, if we lose these crews, we lose operational capability.”

Training medical personnel on biocontainment care is the day-to-day job of both Lt. Col. Elizabeth Schnaubelt and Tech. Sgt. Victor Kipping-Cordoba in Nebraska.

Schnaubelt, USAFSAM infectious disease physician, and Kipping-Cordoba, USAFSAM public health technician, both work at the school house’s youngest Center of Sustainment of Trauma Readiness Skills location in Omaha, Nebraska at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Schnaubelt is the C-STARS Omaha director; Kipping-Cordoba, the non-commissioned officer in charge. USAFSAM is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and nested within the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing.

The two experts were initially called to help with this AMC mission because of their expertise with infectious diseases and public health, and their expertise with Ebola. But now, this pair has been asked to answer another national call – ensuring this necessary training on TIS to ensure patient safety and operational readiness in the fight against COVID-19.

“We’ve been working closely with AMC on TIS training,” explained Schnaubelt. “It’s now being adapted for care and transport of patients with COVID-19. We’re here to help make those modifications. We’ve been fully integrated with Nebraska’s COVID-19 response. Tech. Sgt. Kipping and I are bringing a lot of those lessons learned from the medical center, and adapting them to this mission of transporting patients with this highly infectious virus.”

What makes the expertise at C-STARS Omaha unique to the current COVID-19 pandemic is that this team focuses on advancing the readiness skills and competency of USAF medical personnel who provide safe and effective care for patients who have contracted or may have been exposed to highly hazardous infectious diseases. USAF medical personnel are trained at C-STARS Omaha to care for patients with diseases like the Ebola virus, and now, COVID-19.

The training, Kipping-Cordoba explained, is normally three days.

“We train on personal protective equipment donning and doffing procedures followed by waste management procedures and equipment familiarization and inventory,” said Kipping-Cordoba.

“During the training, the infectious-disease team leads the disease and infection prevention and control briefings, all PPE donning and doffing and providing infection prevention and control, clinical guidance, and risk management,” he said.

First implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS was engineered to ensure patients get the proper treatment in the event they become infected with any contagious disease during missions to affected areas, according to a news release from the Air Force Medical Service.

“We initially started the TIS program thinking of Ebola--and that was likely to be a one to two patient movement. Very low volume of patients,” explained Wood. “So right now, we’re shifting that response completely to adapt to higher volume transport and more enduring yield – so over the next several months as opposed to shorter durations.”

While Wood explained that there are not many trained to work with TIS, they are on their way.

“We have crews inbound and ready to be trained up to support the additional TIS units that we are putting online as we speak—all in order to stand up a larger-volume response to this pandemic,” Wood said. “Responding to this pandemic is a whole-of-government effort, so while we’re currently planning for our military forces, we understand that we could be asked by our senior leaders to move American citizens from around the world who might be stranded due to COVID-19. I’ll speak for all of us by saying—we stand ready.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: U.S. #Airmen from various organizations within USAFE-AFAFRICA participated in Falcon Leap 21, a multinational parachute tr…
Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/154QECoeXk
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Doing frequent mental health check-ins could make a big difference in building resiliency. Promote wellness within yourself…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Every time I look at "Wings Through Time” by Robert Emerson Bell it’s a constant reminder that the ability to accelerate…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: If you need help or know someone who needs help - text 838255 or call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the Military Crisis Line. Let…
Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: A @usairforce KC-135 refuels a B-2 Spirit in @US_EUCOM during a bomber task force mission.Tankers fuel the required reach…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message during #SuicidePreventionMonth: "You are our greatest strength and the beating heart of our Air…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Congratulations to the @USAirForce’s 12 Outstanding #Airmen of the Year on earning recognition as exemplary performers i…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: 1/ #DidYouKnow Sept. is Insider Threat Awareness Month? No environment is immune from the threat posed by trusted insiders.…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Sharene and I take the caring and well-being of our Airmen and their families very seriously. Thank you @AirForceAssoc fo…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Everyone wants to make their mark on the world. But why make just one? https://t.co/g1iX4pzU9b
Twitter
10 years have passed since #DontAskDontTell was repealed. @UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones celebrated the milestone by… https://t.co/i1kTNvykzM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: It’s going to take all of our Airmen, Active-duty, Reserve and Guard to secure this nation’s future. https://t.co/4P3CUiQ…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: A few years ago, only two small businesses joined us at AFA--this year we have 40+. @AFWERX works with these companies ever…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF is meeting with defense industry leaders today during the @AirForceAssoc’s #ASC21 events. In his #OneTeamOneFigh
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our rate of change needs to increase. We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of to…
Twitter
.@AETCommand is working to remove barriers in the pilot candidate selection process. Learn more about the changes… https://t.co/ANcqVRdsNz
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,378,209
Follow Us