"As a profession, critical care is continually finding new ways to advance and improve safety and patient outcomes," said Joseph E. Parrillo, M.D., editor-in-chief of Critical Care Medicine. "The two sets of guidelines published in this month's issue are a good example of critical care's pursuit of excellence." The guidelines are for inter- and intrahospital transport of critically ill patients and for critical care medicine training/continuing medical education.
The transportation guidelines recommend that all hospitals have a formalized plan for intra- and interhospital transport developed by a multidisciplinary team. This plan should address pretransport communication and coordination, transport personnel and equipment, patient monitoring during transport, and documentation. The plan should be evaluated and refined regularly using standard quality improvement processes.
Critically ill patients are at higher risk of increased illness and death during transport; however, risk can be minimized and outcomes improved, according to the guideline authors. Critically ill patients are generally transported based on an assessment of the potential benefits of transport weighed against the potential risks. Critically ill patients are transported either within a hospital or to another facility to obtain additional technical, cognitive, or procedural care not available at the current location. The patient may be transferred to another hospital or transported to a diagnostic department, operating room, or a specialized care unit.
"The transport of critically ill patients carries inherent risks," stated the experts. "These guidelines promote measures to ensure safe patient transport. Although both intra- and interhospital transpo
Contact: Thomas Joseph
Society of Critical Care Medicine