Introduction

Adequate care of the critically ill during transportation is a commonly neglected area. Within hospitals, procedures lasting a few minutes (e.g. CT) may require extended preparation. Rationalization of health services may require the regionalization of specialized units, but most patients can be safely moved, even considerable distances, if effective measures are taken to minimize risk. Stabilization of circulation, ventilation, biochemistry, and thermoregulation before movement, using experienced staff, facilitates safe transport. Equipment, although similar to that in the intensive care unit (ICU), should be compact ( Table 1). A general principle is that patients in transit should have at least the level of care that was provided in their initial location ( A.N.Z.C.AJ..9.9.2.).

Table 1 Ideal requirements for a transport modality

Minimizing risk to patients and staff involves ensuring that the following are adequate:

1. transport categories;

2. selection and training of staff;

3. communications;

4. preparation for transport;

5. care in transit;

6. mode of transport.

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