Retrieval and Transfer

An exhaustive clinical workup and interventions are not always necessary or appropriate prior to transfer. Stabilisation and management of life-threatening problems and instigation of measures to prevent deterioration en route, are essential aspects of early care. Delaying transfer to obtain laboratory results or imaging studies may simply delay access to definitive treatment. Such studies may be repeated at the receiving facility.

In liaison with PIPER clinicians, interventions to stabilise the patient prior to retrieval personnel arriving should be commenced. PIPER will coordinate the retrieval and will evaluate the practicality and clinical needs involved in transferring the patient from the source 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 prepared accordingly.