Drugs

It is necessary to carry a wide range of drugs in adequate quantities for between-hospital transfers. A list of suggested drugs is shown in Tabled. They should be kept in a suitably robust container (e.g. a foam-lined box) ready for transfer. A checklist of drugs and quantities should be kept with the container, and the medical staff should confirm this before departure. Some drugs will require special storage arrangements; for example, succinylcholine (suxamethonium) and atracurium should be refrigerated, and opioids should be kept in a secure place.

Table 2 A list of suggested drugs for between-hospital transfers

Many drugs in the transfer box will rarely be used, but are still required for specific indications; therefore expiry dates need to be checked regularly. The help of a hospital pharmacist is useful for this and for the restocking of used items.

Resuscitation drugs should be available in the form used in the local hospital (e.g. Min-I-Jets) to aid rapid and accurate treatment of the patient. Conclusions

Careful planning and organization of equipment is required to ensure safe transfers. High-quality equipment for transfers should be readily available in every hospital, although evidence suggests that it is not always used appropriately even when present ( Hickseta/ 1994). Whatever equipment is available, accompanying staff require training and experience to gain the best advantage from its proper use.

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