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Rega – Swiss Air-Rescue, to home page

Coordination centre for intensive care units

Rega’s Operations Centre as the national coordination centre for intensive care units during the coronavirus pandemic: in this video, you can learn what a so-called secondary transport is and how the Helicopter Operations Centre is supporting Swiss hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. Gitti Kuhn, head of the Helicopter Operations Centre, explains.

We see a flight coordinator with a headset sitting in front of a computer screen in the Operations Centre at the Rega Centre in Zurich:

"Rega, Moser. From Thun to the Inselspital?"

Gitti Kuhn, head of the Helicopter Operations Centre, looks directly into the camera – in the background is the Rega Operations Centre:

"Secondary transports are transfer flights – that means we transport patients who are already in hospital to another hospital, usually a main one. Generally, they’re in a regional hospital, which, for example, doesn’t offer all the necessary medical disciplines to be able to provide the patient with further care.

For further treatment, they require the facilities available at a central hospital – to carry out medical examinations, perform operations, and so on."

The camera once again shows the flight coordinator in front of his computer screen and a close-up of his hands on the keyboard. Gitti Kuhn can be heard off camera:

"When we receive a request for a helicopter transfer, we first need to record the patient data. We record the main diagnosis and the initial medical installations. We also record the patient’s current medical condition. Is he breathing by himself or is he intubated? Is his circulation stable or does he need support?"

Gitti Kuhn looks directly into the camera again. In between, there are short clips in which we look over the shoulders of the flight coordinators and see close-ups of their screens:

"The Swiss government asked us if Rega would be prepared to take over the national coordination of intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients. We then clarified precisely what the government was envisaging and held active discussions with the Medical Services Coordination Committee (SANKO). We enjoy a close and very pleasant working relationship.

Currently, we are monitoring precisely what is happening where and in which intensive care unit on a daily basis. What the latest figures are and what the proportion of occupied intensive care beds and the number of Covid-19 patients is.

If the Covid-19 situation were to escalate or our support would suddenly be in great demand, we are very well prepared. This is because we already know all the hospitals in Switzerland very well from our everyday work.

We have performed transfer flights in Switzerland for many years, and we also speak all four national languages. We are the only operations centre that operates nationwide. We can be reached 24/7, are always available, have the necessary personnel and are pleased to help wherever we can.

We are, however, also aware that we are carrying out this task at a subsidiary level, i.e. it is performed on demand.

We do not take the initiative ourselves, and we never tell anyone what they should do, but instead wait until we are asked. Then we do our best to provide the appropriate assistance for each individual case."

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