A National Survey on Interhospital Transport of Children in Cardiac Arrest

Corina Noje, Melania Bembea, Kristen L. Nelson McMillan, Marissa A. Brunetti, Meghan Bernier, Philomena M. Costabile, Bruce Klein, Jordan Duval-Arnould, Elizabeth Hunt, Donald Harry Shaffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: To describe the U.S. experience with interhospital transport of children in cardiac arrest undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. DESIGN: Self-administered electronic survey. SETTING: Pediatric transport teams listed with the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Transport Medicine. SUBJECTS: Leaders of U.S. pediatric transport teams.None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Sixty of the 88 teams surveyed (68%) responded. Nineteen teams (32%) from 13 states transport children undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation between hospitals. The most common reasons for transfer of children in cardiac arrest are higher level-of-care (70%), extracorporeal life support (60%), and advanced trauma resuscitation (35%). Eligibility is typically decided on a case-by-case basis (85%) and sometimes involves a short interhospital distance (35%), or prompt institution of high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (20%). Of the 19 teams that transport with ongoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, 42% report no special staff safety features, 42% have guidelines or protocols, 37% train staff on resuscitation during transport, 11% brace with another provider, and 5% use mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation devices for patients less than 18 years. In the past 5 years, 18 teams report having done such cardiopulmonary resuscitation transports: 22% did greater than five transports, 44% did two to five transports, 6% did one transport, and the remaining 28% did not recall the number of transports. Seventy-eight percent recall having transported by ambulance, 44% by helicopter, and 22% by fixed-wing. Although patient outcomes were varied, eight teams (44%) reported survivors to ICU and/or hospital discharge. CONCLUSIONS: A minority of U.S. teams perform interhospital transport of children in cardiac arrest undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Eligibility criteria, transport logistics, and patient outcomes are heterogeneous. Importantly, there is a paucity of established safety protocols for the staff performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation in transport.


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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