Research Article

Movement of criticall ill patients within hospital.

Br Med J 1975; 2 doi: (Published 24 May 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;2:417
  1. G Waddell


    Critically ill patients were observed during routine movement inside the hospital to and from the intensive therapy unit. One patient a month suffered major cardiorespiratory collapse or death as a direct result of movement. Renewed bleeding of a pelvic fracture, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac embarrassment due to a haemothorax, and cardiovascular decompensation were seen. It was difficult to continue treatment during movement, especially maintaining an airway or providing adequate intermittent positive pressure ventilation. Seventy postoperative patients suffered few ill effects on being moved. Greater awareness of the dangers of moving critically ill patients within hospital is needed. Thorough preparation for the move and adequate maintenance of treatment during movement requires the skill of experienced medical staff.