Transpacific Aeromedical Evacuation for a Ruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Daniel S. Ikeda, John R. Dryden, Jan Michael Van Gent, Emily Benzer, Steven P. Praske, Vijay M. Ravindra, Charles A. Miller, Brian P. Curry, Randy S. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has altered preexisting patient treatment algorithms and referral patterns, which has affected neurosurgical care worldwide. Brain arteriovenous malformations are complex vascular lesions that frequently present with intracerebral hemorrhage. Care for these patients is best performed at large medical centers by specialists with high volumes. The authors describe the care of a patient who presented in extremis to a resource-limited, community-sized military treatment facility (MTF) in Southeast Asia. In the MTF, the patient underwent emergent neurosurgical therapy. However, given newly implemented restrictions enacted to mitigate COVID-19 spread, local transfer for definitive care to a tertiary care facility was not possible. In order to attain definitive care for the patient, a transpacific aeromedical evacuation augmented with a critical care air transport team was utilized for transfer to a tertiary care, teaching hospital. This case demonstrates the safe treatment of a patient with hemorrhagic arteriovenous malformations and postoperative management under limited conditions in an MTF outside the CONUS. Given the unique circumstances and challenges the pandemic presented, the authors feel that this patient's outcome was only possible by leveraging all the capability military medicine has to offer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E632-E636
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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