Incidents during out-of-hospital patient transportation

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
A FlabourisB Levings


Out-of-hospital patient transportation (retrieval) of critically ill patients occurs within highly complex environments. Adverse events are not uncommon. Incident monitoring provides a means to better understand such events. The aim of this study was to characterize incidents occurring during retrieval to provide a basis for developing corrective strategies. Four organizations contributed 125 reports, documenting 272 incidents; 91% of forms documented incidents as preventable. Incidents related to equipment (37%), patient care (26%), transport operations (11%), interpersonal communication (9%), planning or preparation (9%), retrieval staff (7%) and tasking (2%). Incidents occurred during patient transport to the receiving facility (26%), at patient origin (26%), during patient loading (20%), at the retrieval service base (18%) and receiving facility (9%). Contributing factors were system-based for 54% and human-based for 42%. Haste (7.5%), equipment malfunctioning (7.2%) or missing (5.5%), failure to check (5.8%) and pressure to proceed (5.2%) were the most frequent contributing factors. Harm was documented in 59% of incidents with one death. Minimizing factors were good crew skills/teamwork (42%), checking equipment (17%) and ...Continue Reading


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