The Role Of Life Support Ambulances During Interfacility Transfers

Accident victims or patients who have been transferred to a hospital by a life support ambulance often require additional procedures and treatments which aren’t available there, despite being crucial for their recovery and well-being. In such circumstances, the patient might need to be transferred to another facility so that he can receive the necessary treatment. The work of life support ambulances, in this regard, is of paramount importance, as they are responsible for ensuring the patient’s stability, and safely and quickly transferring him to the destination, without any complications.

This is why it is vital for life support ambulances to have all the necessary medical equipment on-board, along with a trained paramedic, who can look after the patient during the journey, and administer emergency aid, if required. An oxygen cylinder, along with a hand-held bag mask ventilation unit, a defibrillator, necessary blankets and insulation, protective gear, and basic first-aid, constitute the most critically vital items that ZHL’s life support ambulances carry. However, simply the presence of these items is not enough to ensure the safe transfer of the patient, and hence, one must abide by a specific set of principles which are paramount for the safe and timely transfer of a patient from one facility to another.

For instance, at ZHL, the safety and recovery of the patient is of primary importance, because of which, we ensure that our ambulances routinely undergo the strictest inspections and regulatory evaluations. In addition to that, a medical screening examination (MSE) and stabilising treatment is conducted prior to the transfer, besides obtaining the consent of the patient and his family members for the transfer, clearly informing them of the reasons why it’s necessary, the risks involved, and the details of the journey.

During such a transfer, it is the responsibility of the transferring facility to ensure the staff on-board, including the driver, is precisely trained and equipped to handle any unforeseen situations. Essential documents to be present on-board include the approval of the transferring doctor as well as the recipient hospital’s agreement to accept him, along with the timing of the transfer, mode of transfer, and the level of care provided. Pertinent records and copies of imaging studies should also accompany the patient, unless they are to be transferred electronically to the receiving facility. While it is never medically possible to guarantee the survival of a patient, ensuring the aforementioned factors are paid attention to, can often prove to be the defining factors for his recovery and return to regular life.

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