Medical equipment that improve safety and outcomes of inter-facility transportation of critically ill patients: A systematic review

Kazuya Kikutani, Tatsutoshi Shimatani, Atsushi Kawaguchi, Takanari Ikeyama, Daisuke Yamaguchi, Osamu Nishida, Shinichiro Ohshimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although many critically ill patients require inter-facility transport for definitive or specialized therapy, the medical equipment required to enhance transport safety remains unclear. This review was performed to summarize the evidence regarding devices used to improve the safety and survival in patients requiring such transport. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Igaku Chuo Zasshi for randomized controlled trials and observational studies comparing outcomes according to the presence or absence of devices (or new vs conventional devices) during transfer of critically ill patients. Results: Four studies focusing on continuous blood pressure monitoring, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, pelvic circumferential compression devices, and cuffed tracheal tubes, respectively, met the inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis was not performed because the 4 studies focused on different devices. Near-continuous blood pressure monitoring increased interventions such as intravenous fluid administration during transport, shortened the intensive care unit and hospital lengths of stay, and reduced the incidence of multiple-organ failure compared with use of oscillometric devices. Despite the small sample size and varying severity of illness among the groups, transport of patients with severe respiratory failure under extracorporeal membrane oxygenation resulted in fewer hypoxemic events during transport than transport on conventional ventilators. During transport of patients with pelvic fractures, pelvic belts may help to reduce mortality and the transfusion volume. Cuffed (vs uncuffed) tracheal tubes may reduce post-transport tube replacement events in pediatric patients. Conclusion: Studies on devices needed for inter-facility transport of critically ill patients are scarce, but some devices may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E33865
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 02-06-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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