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The COVID-19 pandemic limited hospital resources and necessitated interhospital transport of ICU-patients in order to provide critical care to all patients in the Netherlands. However, not all hospitals have an approved landing site. The ICU-transport operation was executed under HEMS-license and landing on non-aerodrome terrain was permitted. This allowed the search for an ad-hoc landing site in the direct vicinity of the ICU. The following characteristics were judged: slope, obstacles, size, soil conditions and the presence of foreign objects. Before the start of this transport operation, in two days, all hospitals in the Netherlands were visited and presumed landing sites explored, described, photographed and recorded in the electronic flight bag. At 71 (87,6 %) of the hospitals it was possible to install a temporary approved landing site in the direct vicinity of the ICU. 110 landings were made on these landing sites and 114 landings on approved heliports. Only 11 patients required secondary transport to or from the helicopter landings site. This occurred only in two patients from a heliport to a receiving hospital. The construction of pre-explored approved landing sites in the vicinity of hospitals allows safe transportation of patients by helicopter to hospitals without a heliport.
van Geffen, G. J., Spoelder, E. J., Tijben, A., & Slagt, C. (2021, December 1). An Approved Landing Site (ALS) improves the logistics of interhospital transfer of critically ill patients by helicopter. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13049-021-00894-2