Transfer and Retrieval

It is important to note that an exhaustive clinical workup and intervention is not always necessary or appropriate prior to transfer. Stabilisation and ensuring life-threatening problems are addressed, as well as taking measures to prevent deterioration en route, are essential aspects of early care. Delaying transfer to obtain laboratory results or imaging studies may delay access to definitive treatment. Often such studies must be repeated at the receiving facility regardless.

In liaison with ARV clinicians, interventions to stabilise the patient prior to retrieval personnel arriving should be commenced. ARV will coordinate the retrieval and will evaluate the practical and clinical needs involved in transferring the patient from the referral hospital. Once retrieval staff arrive on scene, be prepared to give a thorough handover. Retrieval staff will assess the patient prior to transfer and may make changes to care in order to ensure the patient is safe during transfer.

The use of a transfer checklist can help to ensure that important information is not omitted and the patient is comfortable; with equipment well organised and placed appropriately.

At any time, ARV coordination centre can facilitate a three-way discussion with consultants from the MTS in order to determine management plans and ensure the patient is receiving optimal care.

If a patient is triaged to an MTS but on arrival does not require MTS care, the patient should be a priority for early repatriation back to their local trauma unit as being closer to home will reduce patient and family emotional stress.