Inter-hospital transfer | Association of Anaesthetists
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Inter-hospital transfer


Each year thousands of critically ill patients are transferred between intensive care units in the UK. The majority of transfers are for patients requiring care not available in the referring hospital. Many transfers are undertaken for non-clinical reasons, such as the relative lack of critical care beds. All hospitals involved in transfers must ensure that the appropriate personnel, equipment, training and support are available. In the past, inexperienced doctors with inadequate training, supervision and equipment managed many of these transfers. These guidelines aim to provide instruction and help to those arranging transfers and those involved with the actual transfer of the patients between hospitals. They include information on: 

  • The decision to transfer
  • Stabilisation before transfer
  • Accompanying the patient
  • Monitoring, drugs and equipment
  • The ambulance
  • Documentation and handover