COVID-19 Updates

Stay Home for Us

We stay at work for you, please stay home for us.

We are at work for you. Our crew members are leaving their families and loved ones to be on the front lines across Maine. Please help keep our crews and ALL first responders safe by staying home in this difficult time.

Here at LifeFlight we are working with our teams and partners to keep our providers healthy and able to respond to emergencies of all kinds. In addition, we're supporting the larger healthcare community's efforts to keep people from contracting the virus and limit its spread. We can't stress enough how serious this is and how important it is to listen to our country's healthcare and infectious disease experts. Wash your hands, practice social distancing when with others, and stay home whenever possible.

COVID-19 is bringing unprecedented challenges to the world, to our country and to our communities. In a time when "social distancing" has become the new normal, the real key is physical separation, not social separation. In fact, we all need to redouble our efforts to support the fabric of our communities. We'll get through this together.

Reliable Sources of Information

See a list of reliable and regularly updated sources of information about the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID and the Air Ambulance Industry

Resetting best practices and protective measures in the fight against COVID-19
This article from ROTOR magazine looks at how COVID has affected the national air ambulance industry, and how air medical operators have reset best practices and protective measures in the fight against this unrelenting disease.

https://www.rotor.org/resource?ArtMID=493&ArticleID=6729

Social Network Bubble Concept

New distancing strategies for a post-lockdown world

From the study's introduction: 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of effective non-pharmaceutical public health interventions. While social distancing and isolation has been introduced widely, more moderate contact reduction policies could become desirable owing to adverse social, psychological, and economic consequences of a complete or near-complete lockdown. Adopting a novel social network approach, we evaluate the effectiveness of three targeted distancing strategies designed to ‘keep the curve flat’ and aid compliance in a post-lockdown world.

Click here to read the full study.

Face Masks for the Public

An analysis of the need for public use of face masks during the COVID-19 crisis

From the introduction to the analysis: 

The precautionary principle is, according to Wikipedia, “a strategy for approaching issues of potential harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking.” The evidence base on the efficacy and acceptability of the different types of face mask in preventing respiratory infections during epidemics
is sparse and contested. But covid-19 is a serious illness that currently has no known treatment or vaccine and is spreading in an immune naive population. Deaths are rising steeply, and health systems are under strain.
 
This raises an ethical question: should policy makers apply the precautionary principle now and encourage people to wear face masks on the grounds that we have little to lose and potentially something to gain from this measure? We believe they should.

Click here to read the full paper from The BMJ.

How Can You Help?

If you have an inventory of N95 masks or other PPE, you can donate them!


All of us in the 911 and EMS system are there for you. We are on the front line but we need your help. We are often flying blind as to whether someone who needs us has tested positive for COVID-19. In order to keep our frontline workers safe and healthy, we need more protective equipment, which is in very short supply in Maine and across the country. We're sending out a call to all of our supporters from companies that might have some of these items in inventory--think construction, woodworking, boat building, painting and building contractors, among others. If you have any of the following items and would be willing to donate them (or lend in the case of PAPRs), please contact your local EMS service or contact Tori Bathgate at the LifeFlight Foundation at vbathgate@lifeflightmaine.org or (207) 230 7092.
 
There is a need for:
- N95 filter protection masks
- Positive airway pressure respirators (PAPR)
- Wrap around eye protection/glasses or goggles
- Tyvek coveralls
 
You can help us save lives. Thank you!
 

How Can You Help?

Perhaps there is a way for you to help care for the children of essential workers

Many of us are feeling powerless to really help during this difficult time, but there are many things that we can do from home to support our community, friends and neighbors. Perhaps you are in a position to provide temporary child care for children of healthcare and essential service workers? The Maine Association for the Education of Young Children is gathering information that will help healthcare workers and other essential personnel with the challenging issue of child care. The maineaeyc.org website is a great resource for people looking for temporary child care. Please email info@maineaeyc.org if you would like more information about caring for children in your home or about how to support families in essential services by temporarily caring for their children in their home. Together we will get through this public health crisis.

How Can You Help?

There is a critical shortage of blood, but it's still possible to donate during this time

In challenging times, we often find ourselves asking, “What can I do? How can I help?”  Right now, the Red Cross has an ongoing critical need for blood donations. Local blood drives are being cancelled everywhere, putting additional stress on the blood supply. Giving blood is considered an essential community service and healthy individuals can still donate, even in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations.

“You can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.” U.S. Surgeon General

Click here to learn more about giving a blood during this public health crisis, the safety protocols put in place by the Red Cross, or to schedule an appointment.

Updates to Supporters

A series of updates from Executive Director Tom Judge and Medical Director Norm Dinerman MD

CDC Reopening Guidelines

Guidelines from the CDC for reopening different business sectors
This document provides interim guidance from the CDC for reopening a variety of business types including:
  • Child Care Programs
  • Schools and Day Camps
  • Communities of Faith
  • Employers with Vulnerable Workers
  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Mass Transit Administrators

Click here to read the full document

Know Your Risk

Be informed. Know your risk during COVID-19
Be informed. Know your risk during COVID-19.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how risky are these activities?

What is a Ventilator?

Learn a little more about this life-sustaining technology

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about ventilators amid all of the COVID-19 news. LifeFlight crews carry advanced ventilators on every transport. We thought it might be helpful to share some details about this important life-sustaining technology. Ventilators are mechanical devices that take over breathing for patients who are unable to breathe sufficiently on their own. They can be adjusted to control the rate of breathing, the percentage of oxygen being delivered, the amount of pressure being used to inflate the lungs, and the inhalation and exhalation time for each breath. Because they are complex machines, crew members must maintain appropriate training and experience to manage vented patients effectively.

Another piece of equipment on board the aircraft goes hand in hand with the ventilator – a handheld blood analysis device called an iStat. With a small blood sample, the iStat provides critical information about the patient’s condition in just 2 or 3 minutes. Armed with that information, crew members make adjustments to the ventilator to improve the care being delivered. Although ventilators are currently associated with COVID-19 patients, LifeFlight has always used them for a variety of patients including those with respiratory failure, trauma to the lungs, brain injuries, an altered mental state or who are not able to protect their airway on their own.

You can learn about other medical equipment the flight crew carries here.