Sentara Nightingale team soaring to safety transporting COVID-19 patients

download - 2021-02-24T153736.949.png
Posted at 3:08 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 17:21:23-05

NORFOLK, Va. - From fire retardant safety vests, to "bunny suits" to booties, and double masks; protecting with PPE is high priority aboard Nightingale.

"It has definitely been a struggle, we have had to stop and slow down what we normal do which is rapid but intentional," said Flight Manager Denise Baylous.

Social distancing is tricky inside the cabin of the air ambulance, that's taken to the skies for the past 39 years. Nightingale was the first air transport service in the region to carry Coronavirus patients.

"The closeness of what we are transporting is a very highly contagious disease so we have to make certain we are protected," said Baylous.

Baylous says Nightingale has flown hundreds of COVID-19 positive patients to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital since March of last year.

Baylous also says that t it takes around two to three hours after flying a COVID-19 patient to completely sanitize Nightingale.

"It is very time sensitive for our team," she said.

Taking off, and soaring high, ensuring the sickest patients and those tasked with their care are both safe and secure.