Specialized Transport Teams Save Critically Ill Children

Rates of unplanned events and death significantly lower for children transported by specialty team
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Critically ill children who receive interfacility transport by a pediatric critical care specialized team have significantly better outcomes than those transported by nonspecialized teams, according to a study published in the July issue of Pediatrics.

Richard A. Orr, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues compared outcomes in 1,085 infants and children who were transferred from community hospitals to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Subjects included 1,021 patients who were transported by a specialty team and 64 who were transported by nonspecialized teams.

The researchers found that the rate of unplanned events during transport, such as breathing emergencies, cardiopulmonary arrest, sustained hypotension, and loss of intravenous lines, was significantly higher among patients transported by nonspecialty teams (61 versus 1.5 percent). Their adjusted analysis showed that nonspecialized team transport was independently associated with an unplanned event, and was associated with a higher rate of 28-day mortality (23 versus 9 percent).

"Further study is warranted to determine the optimal qualifications and training for personnel who transport critically ill children," the authors conclude.

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