Retrieval Coordination

ARV is a single contact point for major trauma advice (adult), adult critical care advice, critical care bed access and retrieval of critical care adult patients state-wide.

ARV provides a centralised hub for communication and coordination for the trauma retrieval system with the dispatching of appropriately qualified personnel and a transport-appropriate platform. Ideally, interhospital transfers should be initiated with a single telephone call, followed by ready acceptance of the transfer, timely arrival of transport and an uncomplicated journey to the receiving hospital5.

ARV encourages early consultation and activation. Contact ARV on 1300 368 661.

Preparation for retrieval is the responsibility of both the referring health facility and retrieval specialists, facilitated by effective communication and handover procedures. This may include updating information regularly to identify changes in patient condition and requirements.

The transfer of critically ill patients is improved by the use of appropriately trained specialist retrieval teams, such as ARV and PIPER. Staff on these teams are specially trained in the process of retrieval, have access to high standards of transfer equipment and ensure that the patient is properly assessed prior to transfer6 7 .

The process of patient retrieval either by helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft or by road vehicle requires effective coordination, communication and organisation between hospital staff, ARV coordinators, the retrieval team and receiving hospital. Additionally, the patient’s condition needs to be accurately assessed and treated. It needs to be stabilised as much as possible, with preparation of appropriate equipment, medication administration and invasive line management prior to the arrival of the retrieval team.

Specifically trained personnel are required for the transport of neonates, infants and young children, and are provided by Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) teams.
Retrieval coordination