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Pre- and inter-hospital transport of the critically ill and injured 

Pre- and inter-hospital transport of the critically ill and injured
Chapter:
Pre- and inter-hospital transport of the critically ill and injured
Author(s):

Kelly R. Klein

and Paul E. Pepe

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0005
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date: 30 November 2020

Pre- and inter-hospital transport medicine has become a highly specialized branch of critical care and emergency medicine practices, and is an integral part of modern health care. It can have a significant impact on mortality and morbidity when used appropriately. However, it also poses very unique challenges involving extension of hospital resources into often unfamiliar and sometimes austere and hostile arenas in the out-of-hospital setting. The very nature of critical care also means that the patient is profoundly ill or injured, and needs intensive monitoring and treatment with limited secondary support and personnel in the limited space of an ambulance, helicopter, or fixed wing aircraft. Accordingly, to optimize safety and patient care under these circumstances, specific guidelines and strict regulations regarding critical care transport have been implemented. Protocols and policies need to be in place to ensure optimal care, and safety for both patients and transport crews with contingencies for unanticipated weather and altitude challenges, and should also address key issues.

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