The affected person has been entrapped for nearly thirty minutes. An unrestrained driver going 50 mph who misplaced management and struck a tree, he’s now unresponsive, bleeding profusely, and has the define of a steering wheel tattooed throughout his chest.


His face was crushed on affect. You’ve managed to insert an OPA, and you’re suctioning his airway and offering ventilations, however his situation is deteriorating with every passing minute. Eventually, his legs are free, and the affected person is packaged. The following important juncture in affected person care arrives: How and the place will the affected person be transported?

With each emergency name, a paramedic should make transport selections that can affect the affected person’s final result. Wonderful care within the discipline is diminished whether it is adopted by poor selections regarding transport. Listed below are a number of concerns. 


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How Ought to the Affected person Be Transported?

With the rise of helicopter EMS transport (HEMS), it’s possible you’ll be confronted with the choice of floor versus air. The expansion of HEMS has made transport through helicopter a standard incidence, however simply because it’s an possibility doesn’t imply it ought to be thought of a typical mode.


HEMS is inherently harmful–not just for the affected person however for the HEMS crew. So its use ought to be restricted to solely these sufferers who meet HEMS pointers, which usually embrace:


  • Sufferers requiring a better degree of care not obtainable by floor transport.
  • Sufferers whose therapy is time important, the place HEMS can ship the affected person a lot quicker than transport through floor.
  • Scenes positioned in geographically remoted areas, making floor transport troublesome, if not inconceivable.
  • Conditions when native EMS sources are overextended, similar to disasters or mass casualty incidents. 


When contemplating transport by air, make sure your affected person meets the standards. Simply because a affected person wants a trauma heart doesn’t imply she or he should go by air. Use logic when making the choice to drive or fly. 


The place Ought to the Affected person Be Transported?

When you’ve selected the perfect mode of transport, you then should resolve the place the affected person ought to go. On routine calls, the affected person usually decides primarily based on their choice or insurance coverage wants. The closest facility is at all times an inexpensive selection. However sure sufferers require specialised amenities; none extra so than trauma.


Here’s a fast evaluate of the rules that dictate which sufferers require the best degree of trauma care obtainable (ideally a Stage I trauma heart). The factors are damaged down into two classes: physiological and anatomical.


 Psychological standing and important indicators

      • Unable to observe instructions (motor GCS < 6)
      • RR < 10 or > 29 breaths/min
      • Respiratory misery or want for respiratory assist
      • Room-air pulse oximetry < 90%
    •  Age 0–9 years
      • SBP < 70mm Hg + (2 x age in years)
    • SBP < 110 mmHg or
    • HR > SBP 


Anatomical Standards

  • Penetrating accidents to move, neck, torso, and proximal extremities
  • Cranium deformity, suspected cranium fracture
  • Suspected spinal harm with new motor or sensory loss
  • Chest wall instability, deformity, or suspected flail chest
  • Suspected pelvic fracture
  • Suspected fracture of two or extra proximal lengthy bones
  • Crushed, degloved, mangled, or pulseless extremity
  • Amputation proximal to wrist or ankle
  • Energetic bleeding requiring a tourniquet or wound packing with steady stress 


It’s as much as you because the paramedic to resolve probably the most acceptable vacation spot on your affected person, so know the standards and observe your intuition and company protocols.


Lastly, some sufferers might require particular transport concerns primarily based not solely on their etiology however on their demeanor.


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Particular Transport Issues

Lastly, some sufferers might require particular transport concerns primarily based not solely on their etiology however on their demeanor.


  • Neonates and pediatrics – think about a particular facility if one is obtainable.
  • Excessive-risk pregnancies – additionally think about a particular facility, if obtainable.
  • Combative sufferers – have regulation enforcement accompany the affected person to the hospital (crew security is precedence one!).
  • Intoxicated sufferers – decide whether or not the emergency room or a detox facility is most acceptable.


 When deciding the perfect transport options on your sufferers, know your protocols, observe these protocols, and most significantly, use logic.


Editor’s Word: This weblog was initially revealed in September 2015. It has been re-published with further updated content material.



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