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Protective suits for cabin crew and protection for flight crew

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Protective suits for cabin crew and protection for flight crew

Old 29th Mar 2020, 16:15
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Question Protective suits for cabin crew and protection for flight crew

For the few flights that have not been cancelled.
What level of protection is right? for Cabin Crew and flight crew
Which level of masks should flight crew wear?
Are gloves and hand sanitiser,etc enough ? Goggles, when in close contact with passengers(?)
As Ukrainian cabin crew wear full protective suits, is this correct?


Air Canada's main flight attendant union says some of the supplies being provided don't fit properly and that it is time crews be provided with full-length protective gowns."We need the equipment; we need it yesterday," said Wesley Lesosky, president of the Air Canada component of CUPE.

"We don't have properly fitted N95 masks, we don't have properly fitted gloves and we don't have things such as disposable long-sleeve isolation gowns that should be made available to our crews."

He said the union looked into the feasibility of hazmat suits but concluded disposable gowns would be easier for crews in tight quarters and pose less risk for contamination and spreading the virus.

¨Protective suits and goggles are now required equipment for crew on Ukraine International Airlines, a measure of how far some in the airline industry are going to protect workers during the global emergency.¨ Source CBC News



https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/fligh...uits-1.5513439

Last edited by Jimmy Hoffa Rocks; 29th Mar 2020 at 16:27.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 18:45
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It that sort of equipment is needed, the flight shouldn't be operated except in special circumstances such as evacuation flights. But for regular commercial service, no. Just no.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 19:22
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Please simply read the relevant advice from acknowledged sources such as WHO. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/...2020.2-eng.pdf

If you try to apply those ludicrous requirements you quote, and are somehow able to get supplies, all you will do is deprive clinicians of PPE they desperately need.

Just be properly informed, please.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 21:03
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There is indeed a worldwide shortage of PPE - totally avoidable, but another discussion

The main risk of transmission is aerosol. The HEPA filters on the AC should provide protection so the risk is to CC within 2M of passengers. ie uncirculated air. The number of asymptomatic patients (those infected but not ill but shedding virus) has been low but is now 2-5% in the UK possibly reaching 10% next week. This is no longer negligible and at long last most healthcare systems are starting universal precautions ie assuming everyone is positive

NO flights should still be happening but there are repatriation flights and if it was up to me I would recommend coveralls, FFP3 masks and goggles and gloves. There is no evidence the risk to cc is that much less than to healthcare workers......However they need to be trained and it will not be easy to doff on board so long haul flights will be difficult

The one thing that is clear is that ordinary surgical masks are effectively useless unless a passenger actually sneezes in your face.

Aircrew are only at risk from each other plus the difficulty of getting airside - airports have some of the highest risk of all. But no PPE is sensible on the flightdeck

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Old 29th Mar 2020, 21:06
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Radgirl, would you be kind enough to quote some science or published guidance behind those opinions please? This is, literally, life and death. Perhaps, just to reassure us, you could state a published definition of ‘aerosol’, in this context. The available science says that ‘droplet’ is the usual mechanism and there is little evidence that ‘aerosol’ is a mechanism.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.105...=featured_home

Last edited by Kit Sanbumps KG; 29th Mar 2020 at 21:19.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 21:25
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Social distance and flights

I do not understand how governments can mandate social distance in the open air spaces and then allow pax on a plane or even two pilots in the cockpit. The risk in between the two pilots is possibly statistically negligible however in the pax cabin I see, personally, extremely high risk of contagion. I would also include airports, airport lifts, airport lounges and toilets, boarding gates, etc Maybe we should allow only emergency flights or scheduled with cargo only without pax and no cabin crew for a few weeks. I would be terrified if I was cabin crew these days. They even found traces of polonium a few years ago on a BA flight after a well known incident with Russia. This explains how easy is to spread anything on an aircraft by touching, by sitting, by any contact really + the air obviously. Covid19 is clearly highly contagious, it is everywhere and in small confined places it must really be everywhere on seats, handles, tables, etc. Basically impossible to 100% disinfect the entire cabin after each flight. It would be interesting to see some stats re. Cabin crew rate of Covid19 infections and deaths but probably there is no data and each carrier would not divulge anyway.

Last edited by ILS27LEFT; 29th Mar 2020 at 21:36.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 21:49
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Originally Posted by ILS27LEFT View Post
I do not understand how governments can mandate social distance in the open air spaces and then allow pax on a plane or even two pilots in the cockpit. The risk in between the two pilots is possibly statistically negligible however in the pax cabin I see, personally, extremely high risk of contagion. I would also include airports, airport lifts, airport lounges and toilets, boarding gates, etc Maybe we should allow only emergency flights or scheduled with cargo only without pax and no cabin crew for a few weeks. I would be terrified if I was cabin crew these days. They even found traces of polonium a few years ago on a BA flight after a well known incident with Russia. This explains how easy is to spread anything on an aircraft by touching, by sitting, by any contact really + the air obviously. Covid19 is clearly highly contagious, it is everywhere and in small confined places it must really be everywhere on seats, handles, tables, etc. Basically impossible to 100% disinfect the entire cabin after each flight. It would be interesting to see some stats re. Cabin crew rate of Covid19 infections and deaths but probably there is no data and each carrier would not divulge anyway.
It’s hard to know where to start with that post, so I’ll be blunt: it’s uninformed trash.

There is a plethora of reliable information, very little of which is reflected in this site.

Please, close this browser window, open a new one, and do some proper research, for everyone’s sake.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 22:00
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Air China

Originally Posted by Kit Sanbumps KG View Post
It’s hard to know where to start with that post, so I’ll be blunt: it’s uninformed trash.

There is a plethora of reliable information, very little of which is reflected in this site.

Please, close this browser window, open a new one, and do some proper research, for everyone’s sake.
Air China is taking Covid19 very seriously.
"On board, all the Air China cabin crew were in full PPE too, their names written on the back of their suits and cartoons they had drawn. During the short flight, they took our temperature again." Source Sky News UK journalist today.
Considering that China is coping well with the virus and they are left with only 2.5k active cases, the rest of the world is struggling instead and in fact there are many more active cases in the US and most European countries... it is either that Air China is over-reacting or the rest of the world is taking risks and soon will have to catch up. 133,000 active cases in the US, or 58,000 in Spain and exponentially growing by the day. These are only confirmed cases, real numbers are much higher. We will see. I hope you are right but I doubt + I do not trust greedy airline senior managers during this phase as I found it hard to trust them on the previous debate on fume events, Covid19 is much bigger than anything else we have seen before. Even in highly specialized departments in Hospitals the virus is spreading quickly and Doctors and nurses are infected in large numbers despite all precautions. This has already happened in Italy, Spain, USA, UK, etc Consultants are dying.We will see where we are in a few weeks with flights and cabin crew in Europe and the US. Hope you are right however I predict much stricter measures on board all flights in the weeks ahead.

The sad truth is that whilst in the past only flights from/to China were classified as high risk re. Covid19, now all flights should be considered high risk because of the global spread of the virus, it is a pandemic... definitely all flights from/to any country in Europe or from/to any airport in the US are very high risk these days.

Last edited by ILS27LEFT; 29th Mar 2020 at 22:18.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 22:06
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Originally Posted by ILS27LEFT View Post
Air China is taking Covid19 very seriously.
No, Air China is needlessly depriving clinicians of PPE. There is no scientific reason for what they are doing at all. READ THE SCIENCE.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 22:13
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Thank you Kit Sandbumps KG

The difference between droplet and aerosol is basically size. An aerosol is iso or hypobaric and floats. An analogy is air freshener which stays in the air, but with expired breath we are talking even smaller particles. CDS in the US suggest an aerosol can remain in still air for 3 hours, but obviously not in an aircraft cabin. A droplet is a much larger particle - for example a visible lump of sputum so more relevant if a person coughs at you and the droplet falls on your face. Otherwise it falls on the floor.

The best place to go is CDC who estimate 80% of spread is aerosol, and 20% from touching surfaces - the virus will live 72 hours on stainless steel, a little less on plastics, and 24 hours on cardboard. If you touch the virus it is quite safe until you touch your face. It is only spread from airway to airway. Hence dont touch your face and wash your hands as often as possible.

Obviously you can be infected via a droplet but you have to be face to face and the other person has to produce a droplet eg cough. an aerosol has a longer range, Stays in the air and merely needs the other person to exhale.

Sadly airports ARE high risk. Most airlines were removing seatback magazines and cleaning with disinfectant. The virus has a lipid coat which is destroyed very easily so it is possible to clean cabins but the risk then depends upon both the load factor and the behavior of the passengers plus the ability of cc to stick to the protocol.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 22:19
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Radgirl, from the CDC as you suggest:

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
DROPLETS. Not aerosol. You could at least have read your own references before you quoted them. I’ll say it again, DROPLETS.

The CDC says nothing that I can find about the 80% figure you mention, but it does confirm that it’s not aerosol.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 22:44
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AS I didnt give references I dont see how you know I misquoted

Have a look at https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news...hours-surfaces

If it is ONLY droplets, then there is no transmission unless someone coughs and sneezes and you are within about 2 feet, possibly less, and the snot hits your face. People who are shedding dont cough or sneeze - that is the problem - they are asymptomatic. Yet we are seeing the incidence double every 2-3 days in many countries. Nobody is arguing droplets dont transmit covid19, we are just saying that it is neither safe nor correct to assume this is the only vector.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 23:37
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Originally Posted by Radgirl View Post
If it is ONLY droplets, then there is no transmission unless someone coughs and sneezes and you are within about 2 feet
Actually, no. Speaking, laughing and crying can also generate droplets - though not as copiously violent or far-flung as coughing or sneezing. Nonetheless it definitely happens, and can have a range greater than two feet - though mostly not, thank goodness.

In other words, you can still have transmission in close contact to people who don't seem ill, without going so far as to say "it's aerosol transmission". This is one of the reasons why a surgical mask (or even a home-made unit) is still better than no mask at all. Even in the presence of asymptomatic carriers, it will help defend against this kind of droplet, whereas it would be all but useless against an aerosolized virus.

Hence the two metre rule for those of us able to follow it, and (hopefully) a sensible level of masking and other protection those who cannot. Such as cabin crew.
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 23:38
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The risk in between the two pilots is possibly statistically negligible
The ill-est I've ever been was from my mate on the right.


At last, the dangers of the mist is coming to the fore. Weeks of screaming into science forums bought little but the occasional s.t.f.u won't you, kind of comments. Great science.

Even Bill Bryson derided Hoyle on his off the wall theories - it was funny when he said it. Not now.

I speculate that the Italians are dying because of their happy, loving and effusive nature. And their singing from verandas. Their can be no question something is different there.

Again and again talking heads are breathing in droplets, or is it aerosols. I'll go with that name. I see the point. Covid-19 goes deep into the gas-exchange mechanisms of the lungs. It infects unprecedented areas. Well, unprecedented since 1918.

I don't know why Kate Ogg's image affects me the way it does. I wonder, if when the heat is off a little, she could be remembered as an icon of brave dedication to nursing. She died of pneumonia less than a year before my granddad.


https://heatonhistorygroup.org/2016/...gg-remembered/


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Old 30th Mar 2020, 00:18
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Hello posters,

This is a worthwhile topic for discussion, and obviously a part of our reality for some time to come. Despite concerns expressed, I have not deleted posts, and don't want to stop the discussion. However, would posters please assure that information which is presented as authoritative is based upon factual information, which is referenced. We pilots are not the best to be generating opinions about health issues, so please let's leave that to the experts. However, quoting experts and broadening knowledge is obviously helpful to all of our learning.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 00:48
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The problem with that is having a highly qualified talking head on TV and in moments realise that he's talking Bo-lox. "Leave masks in the operating theatres." Film of surgeons wearing masks. Why does this doctor of medicine think they wear masks? Let me guess. It is primarily protection for the patient. I wear a double mask, not for me, but to protect the young lady at the local Coop checkout that is bewilderingly vulnerable. Only now are some stores fitting plastic screens at the checkouts.

Boris shaking hands with patients. Well, he's not qualified, but Matt Handcock?! At home taking Ibuprofen. Matthew John David Hancock is a senior British politician serving as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. What is it that he doesn't understand about Immunosuppressants?

This is a good post. It's as I understood Viral Load, but comes with the empiricism. Patricia Tung on Quora.

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-some-pe...om-coronavirus
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 04:05
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Slightly off this topic, however related to protection on board:
As i am retired i have no more access to bulletins etc.. Therefore my question:
Is there any recommendation as to operating the air systems on airliners? Specifically i am curious if airlines recommend switching off the recirculation fans.
It might be good practice to increase new inflow / outflow and reduce recirculation in these times.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 05:17
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I had a group email from MIAT Mongolian yesterday they mentioned the they are changing the cabin recirc filters after every flight but then go onto say every flight(International) has been cancelled until April 30th.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 07:18
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There is no doubt in my mind that Covid 19 spreads between people In the same air space, we now have 3 government officials infected, they were probably not infected by aerosol and they would have been infecting others before they had symptoms. Social distancing helps slow spread but we are all going to get infected, how much virus we come into contact with will affect our immune reaction, many will have mild symptoms or none at all and some will be infectious carriers. Aircraft should not be recirculating air at all removing most of the risk, but it’s very difficult to achieve the same risk limitation in terminal buildings and transit systems.

If the lockdown lasts 6 months that is now being projected there are going to be a lot of bankruptcies, not only in the airline industry, lack of cash flow is a killer, bills are not being paid now, most of the government help is loans. There will be no cash to repay them, in any case there is no collateral to secure them in many cases - this is going to get very messy for everyone. How much collateral has a company like BA actually got, most assets are leased or rented, what do they own outright?.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 09:44
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As always pilot DAR you make a good point and I appreciate pilots need hard facts. However, the medicine is fast moving, and the time taken to publish facts means references wont appear for months.

My posts are based on my conversations with colleagues in China and Europe treating patients on ITU and my planning to keep my own doctors and nurses safe. I will provide peer reviewed publications where I can. In the case of droplets vs aerosols CDC has changed some positions in the last 5 days. I stand by what I posted based on the above plus my knowledge of the airway and many decades in ITU. However we should be looking at the bigger picture of what to do to keep cc safe. If someone gets infected they dont really care if it was a droplet or an aerosol. I am not here to win arguments but to offer advice. Can we agree that CC in a highly loaded commercial aircraft are at risk and that normal surgical masks do not provide full protection, certainly if not properly donned and doffed and if working for a protracted time

Stay safe
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