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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this work was to determine the safety and feasibility of noninvasive support in children with acute respiratory failure (ARF) during interhospital ground transport.
METHODS: This was a prospective, single-center observational clinical study in the pediatric transport unit of a tertiary-care pediatric hospital. We included all subjects with ARF transported from November 2010 to March 2013. A specific noninvasive support protocol was used for all cases. Transport ventilators used were the Crossvent 2+ and Oxylog 3000; interfaces were an oronasal mask, nasopharyngeal tube, or nasal prongs.
RESULTS: A total of 288 children diagnosed with ARF were transported. Fifty-four subjects (19%) were transported with invasive ventilation, 50 with CPAP, 58 with NIV, and 126 (44%) with oxygen cannula or nebulization. The median age was 3.4 months (interquartile range 1.2–17 months). ARF was mainly due to bronchiolitis (58%), asthma (15%), and pneumonia (15%). Stabilization time, which is defined as the time between the arrival in the parking lot of the referring hospital and departure, was lower with noninvasive support than with invasive ventilation (median 48 min vs 83 min, P < .001). Median transport time was 35 min (interquartile range 20–65). Noninvasive ventilation and oronasal interface use rose progressively during the study period (P < .001 for the NIV and P < .036 for the interface). One complication was observed: One subject required intubation during transport. Evolution of subjects transferred while receiving noninvasive support was recorded in the receptor hospitals: 21% of subjects were intubated, and 55% continued with NIV.
CONCLUSIONS: NIV seems to be a safe and feasible technique during pediatric ground transport. Careful patient selection, adequate material, and a well-trained transport team are crucial to minimize risks to the patient.
- Correspondence: Nuria Millán MD, Pg. Sant Joan de Déu, 2. 08950, Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: .
The other authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest.
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