Cross-sectional Survey of Canadian Pediatric Critical Care Transport.
Pediatric Emergency Care
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This study aimed to better understand the unique aspects of pediatric critical care transport programs across Canada by characterizing the current workforce of each transport program.
A cross-sectional questionnaire was sent to the 13 medical directors of Canada's pediatric critical care transport teams, and to 2 nonhospital-affiliated transport services. If a children's hospital did not have a dedicated team for pediatric transport, the regional transport team providing this service was identified.
Eight of the 13 pediatric intensive care units surveyed have unit-based pediatric transport teams. The median annual transport volume for the 8 hospital-based teams was 371 (range, 45-2300) with a total of 5686 patients being transported annually. Among patients transported by the 8 teams, 45% (2579 patients) were pediatric patients (older than 28 days and younger than 18 years) and 40% (1022 patients) of the pediatric patients were admitted to the pediatric intensive care units. Eighty-eight percent of the responding teams also transported neonates (older than 28 days), and 38% transported premature infants.A team composition of registered nurse-respiratory therapist-physician was used by 6/13 teams (75%); however, it accounted for only a small proportion of the transports for most of the teams (median, 2%; range, 2%-100%).The average transport time from dispatch (from team home site) to arrival at receiving facility was reported by 6 teams, and has a median of 195 minutes (range, 90-360 minutes). The median distance from home site to the farthest referral site in the catchment area was 700 km (range, 15-2500 km).
This is the first Canadian nationwide study of pediatric critical care transport programs. It revealed a complexity and variability in transport team demographics, transport volume, team composition, and decision-making process.