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MINERVA ANESTESIOLOGICA

A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2017 October;83(10):1101-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.17.11857-2

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Interhospital transfer of critically ill patients

Thomas KISS, Alisa BÖLKE, Peter M. SPIETH

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany


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Transportation of a patient between medical facilities without interruption of the medical treatment can be a challenging task. This review aims to define the term “interhospital transport” and give a general overview of the steps for organizing a transfer. Furthermore we discuss the team qualification, equipment standards and how to manage adverse events before and during transport by means of patient triage. The advanced interhospital transport of the critically ill patient can be defined as follows: “transportation of a patient between medical facilities without interruption of the medical treatment and monitoring due to the underlying disease by means of specific medical, technical equipment and knowledge with the objective of improved patient care.” Several organizational steps come along with patients transfer: the hospital of origin has to identify transfer-eligible patients and be willing to release the patient. It has to identify a destination hospital and negotiate the transfer; the patient has to be transportable, the patient/relatives must agree; the transporting unit has to have the infrastructure and acknowledge to transport the patient; the insurance company or the family has to guarantee for the additional costs. Relocation team members need a specific training that focus on typical critical events that happen during transport. Technical equipment (ventilator, stretcher, monitor, defibrillator, external pacemaker, blood-gas analyzer) facilitates smooth patient transition from one facility to a distant one. The use of checklists is associated with a reduction of incidents during the transport.


KEY WORDS: Critical care - Patient transfer - Emergency medical services

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Publication History

Issue published online: October 5, 2017
Article first published online: June 12, 2017
Manuscript accepted: May 26, 2017
Manuscript revised: April 26, 2017
Manuscript received: December 8, 2016

Cite this article as

Kiss T, Bölke A, Spieth PM. Interhospital transfer of critically ill patients. Minerva Anestesiol 2017;83:1101-8. DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.17.11857-2

Corresponding author e-mail

peter.spieth@uniklinikum-dresden.de