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Transport Medicine
The Section on Transport Medicine provides an annual forum for the discussion
of clinical matters or research related to the field of pediatric transport medicine. Abstracts
and posters are presented during the Section's educational and scientific program at the
AAP's National Conference & Exhibition (NCE), and awards are given for the best

The Submission Deadline for AAP National Conference &
Exhibition abstracts is the middle of APRIL. Authors are
notified of their status via email in early summer.

The C ROBERT CHAMBLISS MD BEST PAPER AWARD recognizes the best abstract or poster presentation given during the SOTM education program by a non-student or non-resident transport professional.

The BEST-IN-TRAINING PAPER AWARD recognizes the best abstract or poster presentation given during the SOTM education program by a student, resident, or post-graduate fellow.

The ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEST PAPER AWARD recognizes the best abstract or poster presentation given during the SOTM education program by an allied health professional.

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010



Aodhnait S. Fahy, BMBCh, PhD, presenter, received a $500 award.
Stephanie F. Polites, MD, Aodhnait S. Fahy, BMBCh, PhD, Martin D. Zielinski, MD, Christopher R. Moir, MD, Donald H. Jenkins, MD, Scott P. Zietlow, MD and Elizabeth B. Habermann, PhD, MPH, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Purpose: To determine the utilization of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) transport of pediatric trauma patients and its impact on mortality, hypothesizing that a mortality benefit to HEMS over ground emergency medical services (GEMS) would be observed for severely injured patients only.
Methods: Children ≤18 transported by HEMS or GEMS from the scene of injury to a level I or II trauma center with both transport modalities available were identified from the 2010-2011 National Trauma Data Bank. Analysis was stratified based on Injury Severity Score (ISS) into low ISS (<15) and high ISS (≥15) groups. Following propensity score matching of HEMS to GEMS patients based on age, mechanism, trauma center verification level, initial vitals and GCS motor score, multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine if transport mode independently impacted mortality in each stratum.
Results: Transport by HEMS occurred in 8218 children (5574 low ISS, 2644 high ISS) and by GEMS in 35305 (30506 low ISS, 4799 high ISS). Overall mortality was greater in HEMS patients (4.0 vs 1.4%, p<.001). After propensity score matching, mortality was equi-valent between HEMS and GEMS for low ISS patients (0.2 vs 0.2%, p=.08) but remained greater in HEMS patients with high ISS (11.1 vs 9.0%, p=.017). On multivariable analysis of propensity score matched patients, however, HEMS was associated with decreased mortality in high ISS patients (OR=0.75, 95% CI: 0.59-0.95 p=.017) but not in low ISS patients (OR=1.15, 95% CI: 0.40-3.37, p=.80). Additionally, discharge within 24 hours of HEMS transport occurred in 36.5% of low ISS patients versus 7.4% high ISS patients (p<.001).
Conclusion: Severely injured children transported from the scene of injury by helicopter have lower mortality after adjustment for confounders. Over-triage occurs at an alarming rate, as many children with minor injuries are transported by helicopter despite frequent dismissal within 24 hours and no mortality benefit in this subset.


Walid Hussain MD, presenter, received $250.

Walid Hussain, MD, Andrew Huss, MD, and Emily M. McNellis, MD, Pediatrics/Section of Neonatology, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO
Purpose: Exogenous surfactant improves the morbidity and mortality of neonates with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS). Optimal timing of surfactant administration in neonates requiring interfacility transport however is not clear. Confirming the diagnosis of RDS and managing the risks can be challenging in the transport setting due to fewer resources and barriers to monitoring. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of surfactant administration in the late preterm and term neonate pre- versus post-interfacility transport.
Methods: A retrospective cohort of neonates ≥34 weeks, ≤ 24 hours old, diagnosed with RDS, treated with surfactant and transported by the Children’s Mercy Critical Care Transport team between January 2008 to December 2012 was reviewed. Outcomes for neonates receiving surfactant ether pre- or post- transport were compared. Safety was measured by incidence of complications such as pneumothorax and/or pulmonary hemorrhage following surfactant administration. Effectiveness was measured by length of intubation, duration of positive pressure and supplemental oxygen and length of hospital stay.
Results: Of 145 neonates, 36 received surfactant pre- and 109 post-transport. Pre-transport recipients were lower gestational age (35.4±1.5 vs 36.4 ±2.1, p=0.0004) and required higher supplemental oxygen prior to interfacility transport (0.95±0.13 vs 0.82±0.23, p=0.002). Pre-transport neonates received surfactant significantly earlier (7.4± 4.6 vs 19.2±16.9 hours of life, p=<0.0001) and had a lower admission FiO2 requirement (0.52±0.26 vs 0.7±0.25, p=0.0003) yet transport team ground time was longer (1.9±0.8 vs 1.3±0.8 hours, p=0.0006). There were no significant differences in the incidence of complications with surfactant administration (16.7% vs 20.2%, p=0.64). There were no significant differences in length of intubation (2.7±2.3 vs 4±4.5, p=0.1) or duration of positive pressure support (3.3±2.2 vs 4.3±.4.5, p= 0.21). Pre-transport surfactant recipients required shorter supplemental oxygen support (5.9±4.5 vs 9.2±10.5 days, p=0.009) but there was no difference in the length of hospital stay (14.1±8.5 vs 16.7±11.9, p=0.23).
Conclusion: Pre-transport surfactant administration is safe but may not offer any advantage in the clinical course of RDS in late preterm and term neonates and may extend ground time unnecessarily. Benefits of interventions performed prior to interfacility transport must be weighed against the risks of an extended ground time, burden on team availability and pilot time limitations for rotor/fixed wing transports.


Wendy Kristine Knight RRT NPS, presenter, received $250.
Wendy Kristine Knight, RRT, NPS, Texas Children's, Houston, TX
Purpose: Respiratory insufficiency is one of the most frequent indications for specialty pediatric transport. High flow nasal cannula (HFNC) has been widely utilized in the hospital setting, however, HFNC devices modified for transport have not been able to deliver humidified heated air at high flows. Our program developed and piloted a comprehensive educational program and safe consistent practice to utilize traditional hospital based HFNC in the transport environment.
Methods: A description will be given of the educational and operational implementation of HFNC to Kangaroo Crew transport armamentarium. Inclusion and exclusion criteria, guidelines, and risks and benefits in utilizing HFNC in the transport environment will be detailed.
Results: 15 transport nurses, 14 transport respiratory therapists and 15 medics underwent both didactic training and practical demonstration in the set up and trouble shooting of HFNC. 19 children have been transported using HFNC in the last 3 months. Three cases will be highlighted.
Conclusion: HFNC has become the preferred modality in children requiring non-invasive respiratory support during pediatric intrafacility transport. The application of consistent expert practice has resulted in the safe implementation of hospital based HFNC in the transport environment.

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Michael T. Meyer, MD, presenter, received a $500 award.
Michael Thomas Meyer, MD, FAAP1, Theresa Mikhailov, MD, PhD1, Evelyn M. Kuhn, PhD2, Maureen M. Collins, MS, RD2, and Matthew C. Scanlon, MD, CPPS1, (1)Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, (2)Outcomes Department, Children's Hospital and Health System, Milwaukee, WI.
Purpose: Transport by specialty pediatric teams (SPT) has been associated with improved patient safety and outcomes, but transports are routinely performed by other team types such as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers for multiple reasons including SPT availability, referring provider preference, local pediatric resources or severity of illness. The transport medicine community lacks a universal database or data definitions to describe pediatric outcomes based on transport specific variables. Pediatric patients directly admitted to the PICU from community emergency departments (CED) transported by SPT will have improved severity of illness adjusted 48-hour mortality than patients transported by an EMS team.
Methods: The study included 3,795 PICU discharges from January 2007 to March 2009 for children age < 18 years who were directly admitted to a PICU from a CED. The dataset consisted of data obtained from 12 pediatric hospitals that collect transport (team type, transport vehicle), PRISM 3, and PIM2 data from VPS, LLC, a national pediatric critical care database. Chi-square tests for categorical variables and Mann-Whitney tests for continuous variables were performed. A multiple logistic regression equation was used to develop a propensity score for the transport team (SPT v. EMS). Multiple logistic regression analysis was subsequently used to determine factors related to PICU mortality. The regression equation included the propensity score as well as PIM2 or PRISM 3 to adjust for severity of illness. In some regressions, hospital was added to the model as a random effect. SAS v.9.3 was used for analysis.
Results: SPT patients were more severely ill, younger in age, and more likely to have a respiratory diagnosis than EMS transports (all p < 0.0001). Unadjusted 48-hour PICU mortality was statistically significantly higher for SPT than EMS (SPT 2.04%, EMS 0.070%, p=0.0028). After adjustment for propensity score, PRISM 3, and hospital, there was no statistically significant difference in 48-hour PICU mortality (p=0.25).
Conclusion: Based on our multi-center historical cohort analysis, there is no significant difference in 48-hour PICU mortality for children transported by either SPT or EMS when adjusted for the propensity score, severity of illness and the PICU admission site. We analyzed a PICU-specific database to determine PICU outcomes, which captures only basic transport unique variables. The VPS data may not accurately reflect the transport continuum. Unique to our analysis, the inclusion of the propensity score allows for balancing of the probability that a patient will be transported by SPT rather than EMS. But, the propensity analysis cannot account for unknown or unmeasured factors that may be more specific contributors to PICU outcomes in patients requiring interfacility transport. The development of a transport specific database and subsequent analysis of these transport-specific variables is needed to determine transport related effects on PICU 48-hour mortality.


Anna C. Gunz, MD, presenter, received $250 and a certificate.
Anna C Gunz, MD, Sonny Dhanani, MD2, Hilary Whyte, MB, MSc3, Kusum Menon, MD, MSc, Jennifer R Foster, MD4, Melissa J Parker, MD, MSc5 and Katie O'Hearn, MSc2, (1) Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada, (2)Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON, Canada, (3)Neonatology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada, (4)Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada, (5)McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
Purpose: During transport, critically-ill children are at increased risk of experiencing significant and adverse events. Studies designed to measure such events have been limited by variability in outcome measure selection and definition. The objectives of this study were two-fold: 1) to identify and evaluate indicators that represent significant events during pediatric transport and are relevant to future research initiatives; 2) to establish standardized definitions for these indicators.
Methods: Participants included interdisciplinary health care providers with expertise in pediatric transport medicine and representation from across Canada. This study had two phases. In phase 1, we conducted a modified-Delphi study to identify indicators, using 4 iterations. In the first iteration, participants identified indicators and evaluated others introduced by the study steering committee and used in the literature. In subsequent iterations, experts re-evaluated indicators that had not yet achieved a priori-defined consensus. Group comments and aggregate scores for each indicator from previous iterations were provided. Indicators were categorized according to whether they represent trigger tools (interventions, physiological markers and laboratory values), or team-member safety and process issues. In phase 2, we held a consensus meeting to establish indicator definitions. A pre- and post-meeting modified-Delphi questionnaire was used to facilitate definition discussion at the meeting.
Results: Study participants included 16 physicians and 17 non-physician healthcare providers from 10 Canadian institutions. During study phase 1, fifty-seven indicators were evaluated and 52 were deemed both significant and relevant to pediatric transport. This included 26 indicators not previously presented in the literature, especially those that represent laboratory trigger tools and team process and safety issues. Eighty-eight percent (N=50/57) of indicators achieved consensus within 2 Delphi iterations. There was a high level of agreement amongst participants (Spearman correlation 0.8; p<0.001). During study phase 2, indicator definitions were proposed. Consensus regarding the definitions of 32 (60%) indicators was achieved during the pre-meeting process, 19 (36%) at the consensus meeting and 4 (7%) during the post-meeting process. Discussion at the consensus meeting lead to the modification of the definition of two of the fifty-two indicators.
Conclusion: We used a systematic, modified-Delphi approach to develop an inclusive list of indicators relevant to the field of pediatric transport medicine. In so doing, novel indicators were introduced, and those previously used in the transport literature were validated. In addition, we integrated modified-Delphi and consensus meeting methodology to streamline the development of definitions for these indicators. We hypothesize that the application of these indicators will help define metrics for transport teams, which will facilitate benchmarking, quality improvement exercises and clinical research initiatives.


Laura Westley, RN, MSM, CNPT, presenter, received $250 and a certificate.
Laura Westley, RN, MSM, CNPT, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL and Ranna A. Rozenfeld, MD, FAAP, Department of Pediatrics, FSM North-western University, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Purpose: A transport team (TT) with over 1600 transports annually, 97% ground, historically utilized lights and sirens (L&S) to navigate traffic patterns in a dense urban environment. By Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, L&S had become common practice and non-use was the exception. This practice was thought to expedite transfer and minimize out of hospital time. There are situations where the use of L&S is appropriate, however, their use does present risk. Therefore, our goal was to decrease the use of L&S over time through policy, education, tracking and communication.
Methods: In FY 2011, a policy was developed and reviewed with the team that would help determine the appropriate use of L&S. The policy states that L&S "may be considered" for an unstable or time sensitive illness or injury, when required therapy is unavailable on transport, or in traffic standstill for a critical care admission. Per policy, L&S are not appropriate for a return trans-port or to facilitate the next transport. In FY 2012, a debrief process was established which included the "use of L&S" as a point of review. It allowed team members to discuss and document the rationale for use of L&S. In FY 2013, policy updates were reviewed and reinforced during a staff meeting. Updates attempted to clarify expectations and minimize variability in practice. There was no mandate, or dictating absolute "never" situations except as per policy. The team was left to define time sensitive or unstable situations which did allow some variability in practice. Discussion continued within the team which allowed for opposing viewpoints to be heard. In FY 2014, the TT quality group established the goal of 100% documentation of rationale for use of L&S. The policy was not changed, however team members were held accountable for their decisions.
Results: In FY 2011, L&S use rate was 76% en route to referring facility, 73% during return trip and 70% both ways. In FY 2012, L&S use rate was 79% en route to referring facility, 75% during return trip and 72% both ways, essentially unchanged. In FY 2013, L&S use rate started to drop to 71% en route to referring facility, 53% during return trip and 51% both ways. By mid FY 2014, use of L&S had dropped significantly to 21% en route to referring facility, 4% during return trip and 18% both ways. (See Figure)
Conclusion: We believe that consistent communication, education, tracking and review of policy have greatly impacted our team's practice and allows for safer transport of patients in our urban environment.

Lights & Sirens

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Michael Stroud, MD, FAAP, presenter, received an award of $500.
Michael Stroud, MD, FAAP1, Maria S Melguizo-Castro, MS1, Todd Nick, PhD2 and M. Michele Moss, MD, FAAP, FCCM, FACC1, (1)University of Arkansas for Med Sciences, Little Rock, AR, (2)Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
Purpose: To determine the effect of goal-directed therapy administered during inter-facility transport on the outcomes of critically ill children. Advances in therapeutic interventions have improved outcomes of pediatric critical illness. Goal-directed therapy has been instrumental in this change. Specialized pediatric transport teams are evolving into mobile intensive care units (ICU) capable of delivering ICU-level interventions in the field. Specialized teams have been shown to improve care delivery and outcomes of critically ill children. Goal-directed therapy administered by specialized pediatric transport teams could further impact the outcomes of critically ill children.
Methods: A before-and-after trial design was used to test the hypothesis that goal-directed therapy during inter-facility transport will improve the outcomes of critically ill children with SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). Prospective data was collected for 10 months on all transport patients meeting age-adjusted consensus SIRS criteria at Arkansas Children's Hospital. An educational intervention utilizing high-fidelity simulation was performed, followed by routine protocolized, goal-directed resuscitation of transport patients with SIRS. Data was collected for an additional 10 months, followed by comparison of the two groups. In addition, non-invasive cerebral oxygenation monitoring data was collected on a convenience sample of patients in both groups. This study was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health ( Identifier: NCT01293500).
Results: 255 children with SIRS were enrolled, 136 pre-intervention (A) and 119 post-intervention (B). Demographic data and severity of illness using pre-transport PIM-II scores were equivalent. The intervention group had a significantly shorter hospital length of stay [13.1±18.1 days (A) vs. 6.8±9.8 days (B); p=0.011]. ICU length of stay was shorter but did not reach statistical significance [5.8±8.5 days (A) vs. 3.8±5.2 days (B); p=0.18]. Patients in the post-intervention group required fewer ICU interventions [TISS-28 Scores: 19.4±6.8 (A) vs. 17.2±6.6 (B); p=0.037] and showed a trend toward a lower incidence of organ dysfunction (PELOD Scores; p=0.067). Patients in the post-intervention had higher mean cerebral oxygenation, utilizing non-invasive NIRS monitoring [66±14 (A) vs. 71±18 (B); p<0.05]. Overall mortality was 2% (3 subjects in each group).
Conclusions: Specialized pediatric transport teams are evolving into mobile ICU's capable of delivering goal-directed therapy for critical illness in the field. Interventions prior to tertiary care center arrival have the potential to impact the outcomes of critically ill children with SIRS. Relevant pediatric transport medicine research, including multi-center studies, is urgently needed to evaluate equipment, interventions, and therapeutic protocols aimed at improving the clinical and functional outcomes of critically ill children.


Kate Steffen, MD, presenter, received an award of $250.
Kate Steffen, MD1, Kristen Nelson McMillan, MD1, Philomena Costabile, RN2, Gary Oldenburg, CRT2, Guillermo Herrera, CRT2, Eric Henderson, EMT-P2 and Melania Bembea, MD, MPH1,(1)Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD,(2)Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Purpose: Transport of pediatric patients on ECMO involves a small proportion of all specialty team transports and thus is a high risk, low volume event. As such, these transports require extensive multidisciplinary pre-planning to identify threats to patient safety. Use of standardized checklists to ensure completion of critical tasks for such events may enhance team communication and patient safety.
Methods: Transport team members participated in a high-fidelity simulation involving transport of a 5 year old placed on VA-ECMO at an outside hospital (OSH) following a witnessed cardiac arrest. Each team was responsible for role assignment, stretcher set-up, all patient transfers and patient management throughout the simulation without direction from study team members. A standardized ECMO transport checklist organized in systems-based format was developed prior to simulations and was used by team 2, but not team 1. Specific complications instituted during the simulation were hypotension due to hemorrhage and ventricular tachycardia with hemodynamic compromise. Primary outcome measure was time to administration of blood products due to hemorrhage, utilizing checklist as compared to no use. Secondary outcomes measures included: 1) time to defibrillation, 2) time off ECMO during transition to transport ECMO pump and 3) performance of team huddle prior to leaving on transport and 4) prior to leaving OSH with patient, comparing use of checklist to no use.
Results: 18 transport team members participated: 2 physicians, 6 nurses, 4 ECMO specialists and 6 paramedics, split between 2 teams. Time to administration of blood products from onset of hypotension (team 1 vs team 2): 19 minutes vs 4 minutes. Although team 1 leader recognized hypotension due to hemorrhage within 2 minutes, she was not aware of blood product availability brought with transport team until almost 18 minutes of hypotension and administered albumin while blood products were ordered by the OSH. Team 2 recognized need for blood products within 3 minutes of hypotension and blood from transport cooler was administered following discussion with team leader. Time to defibrillation (team 1 vs 2): 51 seconds vs 48 seconds. Time off ECMO (team 1 vs 2) 55 seconds vs 40 seconds. Both team leaders performed a huddle prior to leaving on transport, with team 2 huddle performed using the checklist. During pre-transport huddle for team 2, there was a review of available blood products as part of the checklist. Only team 2 leader performed a huddle with the team prior to leaving OSH, also utilizing the checklist.
Conclusion: Use of a standardized checklist enhanced effective closed loop team communication, allowing rapid identification and management of complications encountered. Identification of latent threats to patient safety may be identified through such high-fidelity simulations and strategies to minimize these threats can be implemented prior to actual transports.

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David J. Mathison, MD, MBA,
presenter, received an award of $500.

David J. Mathison, Emergency Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC and Jennifer Schuette, Division of Transport Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Background: Resource utilization for pediatric interfacility transport is highly variable among different centers. It is unclear how best to balance and
distribute these resources as teams expand their services from specialized single-unit critical care.

Purpose: This study evaluates the use of an original resource allocation decision-support tool for prioritizing and dispatching interfacility neonatal/
pediatric transports. This tool more explicitly defines the capabilities of different team members and the recommendations for different team configurations and mode of transport based on the specifics of each intake call (figure 1). The primary outcomes were personnel on transports (team configuration) and mode of transport (ground vs. air), while evaluating for adverse outcomes associated with lower levels of care. We hypothesized that the use of this tool would increase the number of rotorwing flights and paramedic-only (delta) ground transports.

Methods: This retrospective analysis compared all interfacility transports to Children's National Medical Center between two four-month periods (Dec 2010 —Mar 2011 vs. Dec 2011—Mar 2012). The resource allocation tool was implemented in November 2011. This decision-support tool was created based on the local scope of practice for different transport providers and a priority assessment of the timeliness for common diagnoses, created by faculty neonatologists, pediatric emergency and pediatric critical care physicians. Day level analysis was used to compare the mean number of transports for each team configuration and mode (pediatric and neonatal) during the two time periods.
Results: Similar total transports occurred before (1888) and after (1933) the intervention [N=121 days for each period]. The mean number of paramedic-
only (delta) transports per day increased 1700% from 0.24 [+/- 0.53] to 4.26 [+/- 2.41] (p<0.001). The mean number of paramedic-nurse (charlie) transports per day decreased 30% from 13.41 [+/- 3.36] to 9.31 [+/- 2.97] (p<0.001). The mean daily use of rotorwing transport increased by 23% from 1.15 [+/- 1.13] to 1.50 [+/- 1.14] (p<.05). There was a marginal increase in the use of respiratory therapists that was not statistically significant [1.93 +/- 1.34 vs. 2.18 +/- 1.49] (p=0.171). There were no adverse patient outcomes associated with paramedic-only (delta) transports. In one case, a paramedic-only unit responded lights-and-sirens because the child was in compensated shock, but no additional interventions would have been performed if more specialized personnel were available.

Conclusion: Our resource allocation triage/dispatch tool demonstrates a systematic approach for an interfacility team to distribute resources by need rather than by convenience. If staffing is adjusted accordingly, the team can allocate resources to decrease operational costs and function more efficiently without compromising patient care.

Figure 1 -- resource allocation decision-support tool
Figure 1

Table 1
table 1


Michael E. Valente, MD, presenter, received an award of $250.
Michael Valente, MD and Lowe Calvin, Emergency and Transport Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Purpose: Acceleration studies have demonstrated the association between acceleration and cerebral perfusion decreases (as indicated by cerebral regional saturation of oxygen; rSO2) in adult pilots. Some in the field of transport medicine have advocated certain patient head positioning to minimize the effect of head-to-toe acceleration forces that lead to blood pooling and decreases in cerebral perfusion. Our study objectives were to measure the peak acceleration forces during pediatric patient transport, to determine whether drops in rSO2 occurred during transport, and to determine whether patient positioning (i.e., head-to-front of vehicle (HTF), head-to-back of vehicle (HTB) was associated with drops in rSO2.
Methods: A cerebral oximeter (INVOS, Somanetics) was used to monitor 20% decreases in rSO2 from baseline (generally accepted as clinically significant) in a sample of neonatal and pediatric patients during transport via ground ambulance, helicopter, and fixed-wing aircraft. During transport, Z-axis accelerations (axis aligned with spine) were recorded by an accelerometer (SENSR GP1) bolted to the patient's isollette or gurney.
Results: The Z-axis acceleration peaks (g) of each transport type were: ground ambulance takeoff 0.05 to 0.23 (M=0.16, SD=0.09) and landing 0.01 to 0.16 (M=0.08, SD=0.05), helicopter takeoff 0.02 to 0.26 (M= 0.16, SD=0.10) and landing 0.03 to 0.05 (M=0.04, SD=0.01), and fixed-wing aircraft takeoff 0.03 to 0.24 (M=0.14, SD=0.10) and landing 0.03 to 0.49 (M=0.20, SD=0.18). Across transport types, the proportions of patients who experienced rSO2 drop were: ground ambulance 6/11, helicopter 3/6, and fixed-wing aircraft 2/5. During takeoff, rSO2 was measured in 20 patients (7 HTF, 13 HTB). The 2 patients with rSO2 drop were in the HTF group. During landing, rSO2 was measured in 21patients (8 HTF, 13 HTB). All 4 patients with rSO2 drop were in the HTB group. Fisher's exact test revealed no significant associations between patient positioning and rSO2 drop (ps>0.11).
Conclusion: The peak Z-axis acceleration forces generated by the three types of transport vehicles were small and similar in magnitude. Also, the proportions of patients who experienced rSO2 drop were similar across transport types. Although Fisher's exact test results were non- significant potentially due to low statistical power from our small sample size), it is noteworthy that two patients with rSO2 drop during takeoff were in the HTF position and four patients with rSO2 drop during landing were in the HTB position. Further investigation with a larger sample is warranted to clarify the relationship between patient positioning and decreases in cerebral perfusion.

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James Cappon, MD, CPHQ, presenter, was awarded a $500 prize.
James Cappon, MD, CPHQ, Quality & Patient Safety, Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Orange, CA and Jason Knight, MD, FAAP, Critical Care, CHOC Children's Hospital, Orange, CA
Purpose: Our freestanding children's hospital implemented PEWS on non-ICU inpatients two years ago. PEWS is a physiology-based nurse assessment tool that serially scores and trends respiratory, cardiovascular and neurobehavioral status. Additional high-risk markers can be assigned (Table). Internal and external data demonstrate that worsening PEWS scores are associated with imminent patient deterioration, need for ICU care and resuscitation events. We postulated that through Emergency Transport Service Team (ETS) application of our inpatient PEWS to ACLS patients at the time of ETS field evaluation, we could reduce the number of transported Medical-Surgical patients who experience early deterioration after admission. Moreover, we aimed to eliminate indeterminate-status transport patients requiring a brief PICU triage evaluation upon transport completion (“fly-bys ”).

Table !

Methods: Our ETS team (annual volume >4000) transports approximately 2500 ACLS children each year for Med-Surg admission. We have previously
proven the validity of our pre-transport triage process for differentiating ACLS (ETS RN and RT) vs. Critical Care-level (Advanced Scope ETS RN, RT, ± MD) transports, with a “failure” rate of <1/1000. Prior to the pilot, a PEWS curriculum was delivered to all ETS members, including test scenario patients. Pilot patients with concerning PEWS scores (≥5 or 3 [= maximum] in any individual category) per ETS were discussed with the medical control physician during transport, and a destination confirmed.

Results: PEWS scores were assigned to 602 consecutive ACLS patients during a 15 week period in 2010. Concerning PEWS scores were present in 15 (2.5%). Following discussion, 8 of these patients were changed to PICU status (PEWS >6: 3/3; 6: 2/4; 5: 1/6; “max 3”: 2/2). Notably, 0/594 patients triaged to Med-Surg required unplanned transfers to PICU within 4 hours (our organization marker of inappropriate triage). Three “fly-bys” occurred, all within the first five weeks of the pilot.
Conclusion: PEWS is an increasingly utilized marker of pediatric non-ICU inpatient potential deterioration. Application of this score by transport teams during the interfacility transport process can accurately identify children at risk for imminent deterioration after admission, resulting in appropriate unit assignment and markedly reduced unplanned escalation of care. The inpatient Med-Surg PEWS score as assigned by ETS RNs was completely translatable to the transport setting. Undesired and inefficient triage “fly-by” assessments can also be reduced.


Crystal Joyce, DO, presenter, was awarded a $250 prize.
Crystal Joyce, DO, Department of Pediatrics, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH, M. David Gothard, MS, Rebecca D. Considine Clinical Research Center, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH, Hamilton P. Schwartz, MD, FAAP, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH and Michael T. Bigham, MD, FAAP, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Critical Care Medicine and Rebecca D. Considine Clinical Research Institute, Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron, Akron, OH
Purpose: Approximately 200,000 infants and children in the United States are transported each year from one hospital to another for specialty neonatal or pediatric care unavailable at their community hospitals. Interfacility transports are commonly performed by specialty pediatric critical care transport (SPCCT) teams. Ill children may present to non-hospital settings such as primary care offices or urgent cares and require emergency care and transport. Some non-hospital settings are ill-equipped to manage an unstable child, and the care providers must decide the appropriate means of transport: EMS or SPCCT. Herein, we sought to describe a single-center’s experience with specialized critical care transport from these non-hospital settings.
Methods: This IRB-approved study sought to evaluate retrospectively children (0-18 years) transported by our SPCCT team from non-hospital settings in 2010. Data were extracted from an institution-specific database. When appropriate, statistical tests were applied including Fisher’s exact test and Mann-Whitney U using SPSSv17.0 software.
Results: Twenty-six patients were identified with an average age of 5.4±7.14yrs and weight of 21.4±21.6kg (mean±SD). Of the 22 patients (84.6%) with
insurance, Medicaid and private insurance were equally represented. Half of the transport requests identified respiratory distress as the primary complaint and the average SPCCT response time was 48±21min. The pre-transport care included IV access in 9(34.6%) of patients, IVF bolus in 7(26.9%), and antibiotics in 4(15.4%) of patients. Albuterol treatment was provided in 13(50%) of patients and 9(34.6%) received steroids. After arrival of the SPCCT team an IV was placed in 6(23%) additional patients, 5(19.2%) got an IVF bolus, and 1(3.8%) received antibiotics. Four (15.4%) children were transported to the children’s hospital emergency department, of which 3 (11.5%) were discharged home. Six (23.1%) were admitted directly to the PICU, 1 to the NICU, and the remainder (15, 57.5%) to the general care floor. For the 6 PICU patients the median LOS was 7.8; 1.7–9.3days (median; IQR). All patients survived to hospital discharge with a hospital LOS of 2.1; 0.8-5.7days. Critical care transports in this cohort had billed charges of $2660.14±940 (mean±SD). Posthoc analysis of urgent care vs. physician offices showed that children originating in the urgent cares were more likely to be directly discharged home (p=0.046) though no differences existed in PICU or hospital LOS.

Conclusions: Ill children present to primary care offices and urgent cares and require emergency care and transport. The most common SPCCT interventions are IV access and IVF bolus. Response times for SPCCT teams are typically longer than EMS and most transported children are not in need
of critical care. Our small cohort rarely demonstrates application of additional critical care interventions beyond those provided by the referring office or urgent care, suggesting that SPCCT team response to non-hospital setting might be resource overutilization.

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Kyong-Soon Lee, MD, FRCP, MSc, presenter, was awarded a $500 prize.
Kyong-Soon Lee and Hilary Whyte, Paediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
Background: At the limits of viability, outcomes are less than optimal and decisions regarding resuscitation are difficult. There has been a recent trend for increasing resuscitation of infants born at the limits of viability. It has been shown that preterm infants born in perinatal centres (inborn) have significantly better outcomes compared with those born in non-perinatal centres and transported after birth to NICUs (outborns). However, previous data comparing inborns and outborns have grouped infants at the limits of viability with higher gestational ages (GA) and outcome data for infants at the limits of viability have represented mostly inborn infants. For deliveries at the limits of viability that continue to occur in significant proportions in non-perinatal centres, outcome data for outborn infants is required to guide counseling and decision making.
To determine the mortality and NICU outcomes of inborn vs outborn infants born at 23 to 25 weeks GA.
Methods: The records of all neonates born at 23-25 weeks GA who were referred to the 3 NICUs in our region during January 2005 to December 2007 were reviewed for mortality and NICU outcomes. These 3 NICUs provide tertiary NICU care for 50% of Ontario births.
Results: Among 318 neonates born at 23-25 wk GA, 211 (66%) were inborn and 107 (34%) were outborn. Intubation at delivery was used as a proxy for significant resuscitation. Among intubated infants, mortality rates for GA 23-25 weeks was 33% for inborns compared with 50% for outborns (p=0.006). See Table for further results. The proportion of infants with grade III/IV IVH or PVL was 42%, grade IV ROP or ROP requiring surgery was 19% and need for respiratory support at 36 weeks corrected GA was 66%. There were no significant differences in these NICU outcomes among the 3 GA groups or between in- vs outborn infants.
Conclusion: A significant proportion of 23 week GA infants born in inborn centres were not resuscitated. Consistent with previous studies, the mortality rate for infants born at 23-25 weeks GA was higher for outborns vs inborns. At the limits of viability where outcomes are already tenuous, this difference in mortality between inborns vs outborns places 24 week GA outborn infants at major risk of mortality (60%). These data support an aggressive approach to the transfer of women with threatened preterm labor to a perinatal centre. If maternal transfer does not occur, these differences in outcomes between inborn vs outborn infants should be considered during counseling and decision making.

Table: Mortality rates of inborn vs outborn infants born at 23-25 GA

Sarah B. Kandil, MD, presenter, was awarded a $250 prize.
Sarah B. Kandil, MD and John S. Giuliano Jr., MD, Pediatric Critical Care, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Transport Risk Assessment in Pediatrics (TRAP) score for triage of pediatric patients. This novel transport scoring tool was derived from physical signs and symptoms to assist in appropriate triage of children transported from other facilities. The score ranges from 0 – 16, with 16 representing the most abnormal physiologic variables. We hypothesized that a higher TRAP score would correlate with pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission.
Methods: We conducted a bidirectional observational cohort study of pediatric patients transported by a specialized ground transport team to a tertiary care center before and after implementation of the TRAP scoring tool. Patients were eligible if transported by the pediatric ground transport team for direct admission to the children’s hospital. Patients transported by air, standard ambulance crew, or who were brought directly to the emergency department were excluded. The TRAP score was obtained by chart review for patients included prior to implementation of the TRAP scoring tool. It was formed prospectively at first encounter of transported patients after implementation. Categorical data was analyzed using chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests, while continuous data was analyzed using student t-test and Wilcoxon-Mann Whitney test.
Results: A total of 269 patients were identified from September 2008 – February 2009 and September 2009 – February 2010. Of these, 238 patients were included in the study. All patients in the historical group (n=115) were scored by chart review and flow sheet documentation. There were 123 patients in the prospective group with 108 (88%) having TRAP scores completed at first encounter. The remaining scores were completed based on flow sheet documentation. The two groups had similar baseline characteristics including age, weight, gender, diagnosis category, severity of illness scores, disposition, and critical events/interventions during transport. The mean TRAP scores calculated for the historical cohort were not significantly different than those of the prospective cohort (4.30 vs. 3.84, p=0.19). The combined mean TRAP score was 4.06 (SD 2.69) with a median of 4.00 (IQR 0 to13). Using logistic regression for associations between potential risk factors and outcomes, a higher TRAP score was found to have a strong association with PICU admission (OR 1.40, p <0.0001). For every point increase there was a 40% increase in odds of going to the PICU. Patients with a higher score were also less likely to have a change in disposition within 24 hours (OR 0.79, p <0.0001).
Conclusion: The TRAP score, a novel objective pediatric transport assessment tool, can assist with triage decisions of children admitted from outside
institutions. Children with higher TRAP scores are more likely to require pediatric ICU admission for greater than 24 hours.