Plans to minimize the impact of the handicaps inherent in a transport environment are essential. Suggested guidelines include the following:
1. Stabilize the patient carefully prior to transport. Unless the immediate needs of the patient can only be met in the receiving hospital (e.g., severe trauma), ample time should be devoted to stabilizing the patient in the referring hospital.
2. Anticipate deterioration. Preparation of the patient should include not only care for the identified problems but also anticipation of problems that may arise during transport.
3. Monitor as many physiologic parameters as possible electronically. Because physical examination is nearly impossible during transport and because pediatric patients are often transported during dynamic changes in their physiologic condition, electronic monitoring is essential.
4. Prepare the transport vehicle. If repeated transport of pediatric patients is anticipated, one or more vehicles should be prepared to meet the special needs of these patients (e.g., accessory lighting and a more precisely controlled thermal environment).
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