PHARM Podcast 66 : Patient preparation in retrieval medicine

Cliff Reid with my favourite talk of the conference: how to be a hero

Cliff Reid with my favourite talk of the conference: how to be a hero

Dr Brian Burns and need to carry a scalpel

Dr Brian Burns and need to carry a scalpel

Retrieval docs Cliff Reid and Brian Burns of Greater Sydney Area HEMS have a chat with me on pearls and tips in preparing the critical patient for retrieval/transport.

Show note references:

  1. Interhospital patient assessment
  2. Rural Doctors Net

Now on to the Podcast

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  1. Useful podcast, thanks to you all for these tips and comments.

    Seems to me that there remains scope to minimise the therapeutic vacuum or clinical inertia between rural doctors resus / stablisation prior to retrieval team arrival. Two things come to mind

    – having a shared mental model of ‘what needs to be done’ using similar protocols/equipment eg: NODESAT apneoic diffusion oxygenation, bougie, checklist, team training for RSI

    – checklists for transfer. Hard to have ‘one size fits all’ but certainly making sure plumbing completed (large IVs, NGT, IDC, A-line), inotropes drawn up and running, analgesia, sedation etc

    I use an A-to-N approach for handover (Airway thro to Note/Next of Kin) – see example TRANSFER CHECKLIST at

    The tip on not taping eyes shut was useful – I’ve un-learned slugging everyone with propofol, now I will un-learn this last vestige of elective anaesthesia training. I presume you still cover the eyes to protect against errant IV lines/wristwatch/sleeves? Do you use those lightweight disposable eye goggles?

    My last tuppence worth – as well as rural docs using similar protocols/mental models as retrieval, try and snaffle some of those minimum volume extension lines – use to run in infusions/boluses to large bore IV side ports, with extension lines running to the head end – saves a lot of unnecessary & difficult guddling around under webbing/straps/blankets for the patient in transfer.

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