American Journal of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
ISSN (Print): 2328-4056 ISSN (Online): 2328-4064 Website: Editor-in-chief: Maysaa El Sayed Zaki
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American Journal of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. 2014, 2(6A), 19-24
DOI: 10.12691/ajidm-2-6A-2
Open AccessResearch Article

Long-Range Transportation of Ebola-Exposed Patients: An Evidence-Based Protocol

William E. Thoms Jr.1, William T. Wilson1, Kathleen Grimm1, Nicholas G. Conger2, Christopher G. Gonzales1, Lisa DeDecker1 and Jennifer J. Hatzfeld3,

1Air Mobility Command 203 West Losey St Scott AFB, IL 62225

288th Medical Group 4881 Sugar Maple Drive Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433

3Defense Medical Research and Development Program 504 Scott St Fort Detrick, MD 21702

Pub. Date: March 12, 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ebola virus: a global threat)

Cite this paper:
William E. Thoms Jr., William T. Wilson, Kathleen Grimm, Nicholas G. Conger, Christopher G. Gonzales, Lisa DeDecker and Jennifer J. Hatzfeld. Long-Range Transportation of Ebola-Exposed Patients: An Evidence-Based Protocol. American Journal of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. 2014; 2(6A):19-24. doi: 10.12691/ajidm-2-6A-2


The expanding Ebola pandemic in Western Africa and the assignment of U.S. military troops to provide logistical assistance for Ebola Treatment Units and laboratory testing sites has required the careful development of a plan for the long-range transport Ebola-exposed patients. While the official policy remains “that patients with highly contagious diseases will be treated in place and not transported unnecessarily”, it is anticipated there may be requests for waivers to this policy in the future. The use of a large military transport aircraft (C-17) provides the ability to designate three different zones, including a “green zone” for asymptomatic patients, a “yellow zone” for patients with early symptoms that need additional monitoring, and an “orange zone” for patients who develop symptoms during flight. This protocol allows for the safe transport of multiple Ebola-exposed patients who could develop symptoms during flight, without exposing the remaining passengers or the crew. Additionally, this evidence-based plan ensures the crew members are well-prepared in advance and safely able to transport this unique patient population. While many of the details are unique to this particular military aircraft and the symptoms of Ebola, it is anticipated this protocol can be easily modified to assist with the long-range transport of patients who are exposed to similar communicable diseases transported on other air platforms.

Ebola transportation primary prevention hemorrhagic fever aerospace medicine

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