Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Nov 20;52:13-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2021.11.021. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Intrahospital transport of critically ill patients is often necessary for diagnostic procedures, therapeutic procedures, or admission to the intensive care unit. The aim of this study was to investigate and describe safety and adverse events during intrahospital transport of critically ill patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic search was performed of MEDLINE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for studies published up to June 3, 2020, and of the International Clinical Trials Platform Search Portal and ClinicalTrials.gov for ongoing trials. We selected prospective and retrospective cohort studies published in English on intrahospital transport of critically ill patients, and then performed a meta-analysis. The primary outcome was the incidence of all adverse events that occurred during intrahospital transport. The secondary outcomes were death due to intrahospital transport or life-threatening adverse events, minor events in vital signs, adverse events related to equipment, durations of ICU and hospital stay, and costs.
RESULTS: A total of 12,313 intrahospital transports and 1898 patients from 24 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Among 24 studies that evaluated the primary outcome, the pooled frequency of all adverse events was 26.2% (95% CI: 15.0-39.2) and the heterogeneity among these studies was high (I2 = 99.5%). The pooled frequency of death due to intrahospital transport and life-threatening adverse events was 0% and 1.47% each, but heterogeneity was also high.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that adverse events can occur during intrahospital transport of critically ill patients, and that the frequency of critical adverse events is relatively low. The results of this meta-analysis could assist in risk-benefit analysis of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures requiring intrahospital transport of critically ill patients.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: UMIN000040963.