Assessing and planning medical evacuation flights to Europe for patients with Ebola virus disease and people exposed to Ebola virus

Technical guidance Guide
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Citation Link

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Assessing and planning medical evacuation flights to Europe for patients with Ebola virus disease and people exposed to Ebola virus, 21 October 2014. Stockholm: ECDC; 2014.

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​The aim of this document is to guide decision-making when there is a perceived need for medical evacuation by air of an Ebola-infected or Ebola-exposed person from an Ebola-affected country to an EU Member State.

Executive summary

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa is raising a number of questions related to the evacuation of people who have been exposed to, or infected with, Ebola virus.

Within the EU, there are currently no commonly agreed-upon criteria for deciding when medical evacuation by air is recommended, and there is no guidance on how such evacuations should be carried out. The technical capacity for medically evacuating EVD patients and people exposed to Ebola virus by air varies among Member States. All in all, the overall experience in this area, both in the civil and military sector, remains limited in the EU Member States.

The decision to evacuate must be based on:

  • the likelihood of the person being infected with Ebola virus;
  • the potential benefits of evacuation for the concerned person/patient;
  • the risks associated with medical evacuation by air for the person/patient; and
  • the risk of transmission to the crew and accompanying medical staff.