Aircraft disinfection after a Covid-19 medevac mission
In the beginning of the pandemic, it took some time to figure out the virus, and how to properly manage and transport those with Covid-19. Luckily, we were able to figure that out sooner rather than later. The next issue on the table was cleaning! The questions were: how do we properly clean these aircraft? How do we know they are clean? Do we need to bring an outside company in to clean it? All are valid questions and concerns that everyone should have, especially if you are flying inside these aircraft on a routine basis.
Prior to the pandemic, the cleaning product that we used to disinfect our interiors and medical equipment was Cavicide™. Cavicide™ is an intermediate-level surface disinfectant. It is proven to be effective against viruses such as TB, HIV, HBV, MRSA and VRE. We would spray the areas and allow for a three-minute dwell time and then wipe the area clean.
The question then is, how do we know it’s clean? In the air ambulance industry, we do not have the luxury of easy and ready access to laboratory facilities for swabbing. For this reason, we decided at REVA to utilize the Hygiena System SURE Plus ATP monitoring system.
This is a proven system used in the food industry to validate sanitation systems to make sure the industry is free of pathogenic agents. By utilizing the ATP testing system, we can determine the effectiveness of our cleaning immediately after we are done wiping down the aircraft. We receive immediate and accurate results, allowing us to maintain a certain standard of cleanliness.
For an entire year prior to the pandemic, we utilized Cavicide™ as our main disinfectant post-flight and utilized this ATP testing system to determine the level of sanitation. The results throughout the year were both outstanding and reliable. The areas consistently swabbed were the patient stretcher, drink rail next to the patient, wall next to the patient and the floor. Post-flight, after cleaning the aircraft with the disinfectant, the results passed and indicated the areas were appropriately sanitized.
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