Key Messages

The Victorian State Trauma System (VSTS) provides support and retrieval services for critically injured patients requiring definitive care, transfer and management. This preparation for retrieval guideline provides advice on the initial management and transfer of major trauma patients who present to Victorian health services.

This guideline is developed for all clinical staff involved in the care of trauma patients in Victoria. It is intended for use by frontline clinical staff that provides early care for major trauma patients; those working directly at the Major Trauma Service (MTS) as well as those working outside of a MTS.

These guidelines provide the user with accessible resources to effectively and confidently provide early care for critically injured patients. They provide up-to-date information for front-line healthcare clinicians. The guideline is evidence based, has followed the AGREE II methodology for guideline development and is under the auspice of the Victorian State Trauma Committee (VSTC). 1

Clinical emphasis points 

Patient retrieval in progress
  • Adult Retrieval Victoria (ARV) is the single contact point for adult major trauma advice, critical care advice, critical care bed access and retrieval of critical care adult patients state-wide.
  • Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) is the point of contact for paediatric major trauma advice and retrieval of critical care paediatric patients state-wide.
  • Final preparation of a patient for transfer should be made well ahead of the actual move, with conscious anticipation of clinical needs.
  • The patient must be reassessed before transport begins, especially after being placed on monitoring equipment and the transport ventilator (if used).
  • Checklists are a valid and effective way to ensure all key points are covered, risks anticipated and mitigated, and all clinical priorities are addressed.
  • If unsure or in doubt about any aspect of preparation for retrieval, contact ARV.
  • Contact retrieval services immediately if there is significant deterioration in clinical status or if the patient requires additional or unplanned interventions or treatment.

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