Transfer of the Critical Care Patient
Radiological investigations may necessitate the transfer of the patient to the scanning department. The unavoidable postural changes and inertial forces during transit can have a markedly detrimental effect on the patient’s physiology and this primarily affects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Moving the patient to a location that is remote to the Critical Care Unit generates hazards and therefore careful preparation, the availability of specialised equipment and the coordinated efforts of a well trained transfer team are vital in minimising risks. The management of new medical complications during transfer is made more difficult by the unfamiliar environment and limited availability of equipment. Fortunately the likelihood of clinical deterioration en-route can be reduced by a thorough assessment of the patient’s suitability for transfer and medical optimisation before departure.