Developed by engineers from the U.S. Army, the Aeromedical Biological Containment System (ABCS) is designed to isolate an infected person during transport by aircraft without endangering the flight crew.
The tent-like system includes a patient compartment (PC) that accommodates one patient, healthcare personnel and medical equipment, with an anteroom that allows entry and exit for medical personnel.
Clean air is supplied to the patient compartment through the use of a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system under negative pressure compared to the crew compartment. The air exiting the PC is filtered with a HEPA filtration system as it exits the plane.
The system was recently utilized to transport American aid workers infected with Ebola from Africa to the U.S. for life-saving treatment.
The enclosure provides safe transport of the patient; relieves the flight crew from wearing cumbersome individual protective equipment while operating the plane; and provides easy decontamination of the airplane after the patient is transported.
See also: DoD Aeromedical Biocontainment System