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Mishaps Common During Patient Transport From Emergency Care

Common risk events during intrahospital patient transport from ED included limb trapping/displacement, collisions, IV line or catheter issues

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TUESDAY, Aug. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Moving patients from the emergency department frequently results in transport mishaps, according to a study published online Aug. 23 in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Tom Neal-Williams, from Northern Health in Epping, Australia, and colleagues assessed the incidence and factors associated with risk events (REs) that occur during the intrahospital transport of patients (by trolley or wheelchair) from the emergency department. The analysis included 738 intrahospital patient transports from a single emergency department between Jan. 30 and March 20, 2020.

The researchers found that 39.1 percent of transports had at least one RE, which included 125 patient-related (e.g., acute agitation, coughing, and limb displacement), 279 device-related, and 117 line/catheter-related REs. The most common REs included trolley collisions (142), intravenous fluid line catching/tangling (93), agitation/aggression events (31), and cardiac monitoring issues (31). Undesirable patient outcomes, most commonly distress and pain, occurred in 6.5 percent of REs. An equipment number of at least three (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 5.68), transport to a general ward (IRR, 2.68), and hypertension (IRR, 1.93) were predisposing factors for REs.

"This high incidence of REs indicates a need for improved transport training and adequate pretransport preparation," the authors write.

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