Factors Affecting Stabilization Times in Neonatal Transport
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OBJECTIVE: During transport, the time spent in stabilizing sick infants before repatriation is crucial in optimizing the outcome and effective use of resources. The study aim was to assess individual components of neonatal transport time to identify opportunities to minimize delay, optimize care, and improve the overall efficiency of transport. METHODS: A single-center prospective observational study conducted at McMaster Children's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with a dedicated transport team for over 12 months. The stabilization time was defined as the time interval between arrival and departure from the referring hospital. RESULTS: Of 223 neonatal transfers, 67 required no procedural or therapeutic intervention before mobilization to the receiving unit, with a mean stabilization time of 113 ± 52 minutes. In 156 transport events, 1 or more interventions were required, with a significantly higher mean stabilization time of 165 ± 89 minutes (P < .0001). CONCLUSION: This study found that the local stabilization time was more than 1.5 times that of the comparable published data. The reasons identified for this delay were mostly because of waiting times for vehicle mobilization, waiting for blood and radiology results, and bed availability. Modifying these factors could save up to 28% of the stabilization time.
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