BACKGROUND: Intrahospital transportation of critically ill patients can contribute to patients' morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVE: To determine adverse outcomes associated with intrahospital transportation of critically ill patients by a specially trained nursing transport team. METHODS: Monitoring and intervention data were collected for 237 instances of transportation of patients between a hospital's ICUs and radiology suites. These results were compared with the results of national studies on complication rates associated with intrahospital transportation of patients. RESULTS: The patients moved by the specially trained transport team has a 15.5% overall complication rate, with 10.2% minor, 2.5% moderate (compensated for with medications), and 2.8% severe complications that did not respond to intervention. No medications of therapies were delayed, and only 2 patients (0.8%) had decompensation that required the examinations to be aborted. Reported national complication rates for intrahospital transportation of patients are as high as 75%; the complications include adverse events such as delayed administration of medications, significant changes in vital signs, dislodgment of artificial airways and i.v. catheters, and cardiopulmonary arrest. CONCLUSION: Use of a specially trained ICU transport team can substantially reduce the rate of adverse outcomes generated by the transportation of critically ill patients for specialized radiological procedures.

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