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Mexico, Jul 29 (EFE). – With capsule stretchers, respirators and extreme cleaning, the crew of the five air ambulances of the Secretary of the Navy seek to save the lives of COVID-19 patients who transport medical centers on missions throughout Mexico.
Eduardo Vargas is a lieutenant of the Navy Secretary’s Office (Semar) and, although he has been transferring patients in air ambulances for 6 years, he feels especially satisfactory to be able to help the civilian population and patients with coronavirus.
“It is gratifying to carry out this type of operations. The Mexican people, the entire population in general, are supported without any inference that they are only one type of person. (…) Semar is here to ensure the well-being of the Mexican people in all times “, explained this Wednesday to Efe the pilot.
So far, 26 trips have been made in the so-called Marine Plan.
The air ambulance is a service that the institution has provided since 2000 to carry out the transfer of people with delicate health situations and is currently working to support the Mexican health sector in the face of the health contingency by COVID-19.
CHANGES TO THE PROTOCOL
Although Lt. Vargas barely has any contact with the patient, his work has changed since his pandemic trips began in late February.
Now the protective measures on each flight are greater and you must protect yourself to safeguard your own integrity and that of the rest of the crew.
For medical personnel, the changes have been a little more drastic due to the ease with which the virus is spread and the limited space in the five aircraft in which they carry out the transfers.
Lakhvir Singh Ortega is a lieutenant lieutenant in the naval health service and a graduate in nursing. She enjoys air travel and feels fortunate to have the responsibility of keeping patients stable from one place to another.
His colleague Ariana Herrera, second master of the naval and technical health service in Nursing, told Efe that the needs of the patient are different at heights, so their training has been exhaustive and they continue to learn day by day to protect themselves. themselves.
“It is a little bit more complicated but that is why we have training for the Mexican Navy as a flight nurse. We have to consider different things, such as hypoxia (oxygen deficiency in the blood), etc., because they are COVID patients and it is a disease that affects the pulmonary system. We can keep the patient stable from one place to another, “explained Ortega.
ADAPTED TO CIRCUMSTANCES
The number of people in flight depends on the demands of the patient: the minimum is a pilot, copilot, doctor and nurse, but sometimes they also have a technician who helps them move the stretcher and two more members of the medical staff.
Something very important persists in all the crew: the passion for their work, which is that, they commented, it is a task that requires dedication, concentration and vocation.
“It is a privilege and an honor to be able to participate supporting and helping. It is a very gratifying feeling although it can be weighed by stricter protocols and that we have more responsibility because we have to take care of the patient, the co-pilot, the pilot or disinfect the aircraft” added Ortega.
The Marine Plan has 5 aircraft. Four of them are “jet” type, two of which have space to transport two patients at the same time. The latter is a “king air” aircraft that can also fit two patients but is used for shorter transfers and can land on smaller runways than the rest.
Thanks to these planes, they manage to travel long or medium distances in record times in order to efficiently take the patient to the place where they will receive the specific treatment they need.
The longest trip they can take within Mexico is from Mexico City to Tijuana, on the border with the United States, in the northwestern state of Baja California, a journey that takes approximately three and a half hours while by car it would be more than 30 hours on the way.
Although there are already 26 trips made and all have had different characteristics, the Vargas pilot insisted that for him all patients are the same and they must be treated “in the most individualized way possible”.
In the coming months, the prepared crew of these aircraft will continue to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to the most updated official figures, accounts for more than 400,000 cases and 44,876 deaths in the country.