This article provides a workable, organized framework for safe intrahospital transport of critical care patients.

Protecting critically ill patients from harm by constant monitoring and prompt intervention is a primary responsibility of nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU). This concept goes back to Florence Nightingale, credited as the first to use an “ICU” by placing the sickest patients nearest the nursing station for closer monitoring.1 Today, the ICU is considered the safest place with the highest level of monitoring for critically ill patients.1,4 But what about when the patient leaves the ICU for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures? Transport of ICU patients out of the ICU for tests and procedures is a necessary part of critical care,5 but there is “considerable danger for the patient to leave the ICU.”6 

Transporting patients causes stress for many ICU...

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