Surgical Care at the District Hospital
Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 Primary Trauma Care Manual
ABCDE of trauma
Airway management
Airway management techniques
Ventilation (breathing) management
Circulatory management
Circulatory resuscitation measures
Secondary surgery
Chest trauma
Abdominal trauma
Head trauma
Spinal trauma
Neurological trauma
Limb trauma
Special trauma cases
Transport of critically ill patients
Trauma response
Activation plan for trauma team
Primary Trauma Care Manual | Transport of critically ill patients


Transporting patients is risky. It requires good communication, planning and appropriate staffing. Any patient who requires transportation must be effectively stabilized before departure. As a general principle, patients should be transported only if they are going to a facility that can provide a higher level of care.

Planning and preparation include consideration of:

:: Type of transport (car, landrover, boat, etc.)
:: Personnel to accompany the patient
:: Equipment and supplies required en route for routine and emergency treatment
:: Potential complications
Monitoring and final packaging of the patient.

Effective communication is essential with:

:: The receiving centre
:: The transport service
:: Escorting personnel
:: The patient and relatives.

Effective stabilization necessitates:

:: Prompt initial resuscitation
:: Control of haemorrhage and maintenance of the circulation
:: Immobilization of fractures
:: Analgesia.

Remember, if the patient deteriorates

:: Re-evaluate the patient by using the primary survey
:: Check and treat life threatening conditions
:: Make a careful assessment focusing on the affected system.

Be prepared: if anything can go wrong, it will – and at the worst possible time!

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