COVID-19 – Rega helicopter crews flew 74 COVID-19 patients

COVID-19 – Rega helicopter crews flew 74 COVID-19 patients

22-Apr-2020 Source: Rega

[electronic translation]  Since the start of the corona pandemic, Rega’s helicopter crews have flown a total of 74 COVID-19 patients. Most of them were moved from one hospital to another. Rega also provided support abroad: For example, French COVID-19 patients were flown from Alsace to German hospitals. In general, since the pandemic began, Rega has recorded significantly lower numbers of helicopters, which can be attributed to the changed leisure behavior of the Swiss population.


The first transport for a patient suffering from Covid-19 on board a Rega helicopter took place on March 11 in Ticino. The patient was flown from Mendrisio to Locarno by the crew of the Rega base in Locarno. Thereafter, the number of missions related to the corona virus increased: Between March 11 and Saturday, April 11, the helicopter crews flew a total of 74 Covid-19 patients. Most of these operations were so-called secondary transports, in which patients are transferred from one hospital to another.

Intensive care medical transport with a mobile ventilator

Around two thirds of these secondary transports were so-called intensive care special transports of artificially ventilated Covid 19 patients. During the transfer to the intensive care unit of a hospital, the Rega crew connects the patients to a mobile ventilator that ensures the oxygen supply for the entire duration of the transport. All Rega helicopters are equipped with the latest mobile ventilation devices that meet the latest standards and are specially certified for use in rescue helicopters.

Supporting neighboring countries

If there was enough capacity, the Rega crews also helped out in neighboring countries: Among other things, they flew several French Covid 19 patients from Alsace to German hospitals or transferred patients within Germany. Although the transport of highly infectious patients is part of Rega’s normal range of operations, the crews had been specifically prepared for training again in February with a view to an increase in such operations.

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