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Interhospital transport of critically ill patient with dedicated ICU ventilator

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Emilia Romagna is a region caracterized by the presence of Three Integrated Trauma Systems Care (ITSC). Severe, resource-consuming patients are centralized in first level Hubs to guarantee high quality and efficient care. Every ITSC has a Trauma Center (Hub) connected with a net of peripheral hospitals (Spokes). A Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) has been active since June 14 1986 at the Ospedale Maggiore, it covers most of the Bologna and Modena region and part of Ferrara, in addition to this, a new Trauma Center specialized in pediatric patients is developing outside the region. This means transfer times of atleast 50 to 60 minutes by helicopter to consent patients to move from an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to another. Obviously the HEMS play a fundamental role in such a setting.


Our HEMS counts numerous interhospital transfers of adult patients with respiratory failure and pediatric patients that needed respiratory assistance with high performance ventilators. Patients with severe respiratory failure may have to remain on an ICU ventilator throughout the whole transport period anyway transport ventilators may not be adequate for certain age groups in pediatric patients. We would like to show how we faced the necessity of transporting acute but stable patiets, using a system that enables us to embark a high performance ventilator and a multi-parametric monitor in a safe and quick manner. We will discuss the equipment assemblage, methods and techniques of intensive care in the critical patient in this setting.


Our experienced medical team has demonstrated to safely transport even the most critically ill patients if the care is optimized before departure.


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Correspondence to A Giugni.

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Vacchi, R., Santoro, E., Giugni, A. et al. Interhospital transport of critically ill patient with dedicated ICU ventilator. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 17, O21 (2009).

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  • Pediatric Patient
  • Respiratory Failure
  • Transfer Time
  • Emergency Medical
  • Trauma System