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Pre-Departure Checklist

Here you see two examples of a pre-departure checklist: one from our critical care transfer service and one from an aeromedical retrieval.

There are a few key points to learn from this video for the performance of a pre-transfer checklist.

You may have observed:

  • the team all paused to go through the checklist.
  • everyone engaged and the entire team was made use of.
  • they avoided making it into a “tick-box exercise” and actively checked all components.
  • Caroline uses visual cues and confirms “check” for all items.

After transferring the patient to the transfer trolley don’t forget to:

  • Recheck “ABCDE” including lines/tubes.
  • Document the position of the tube and cuff pressure after moving the patient.
  • Check that all drains are open.
  • Check for any exposure and use blankets and pillows to pad pressure areas.
  • Ensure safety by using straps on the body and fixation of the head.
The use of checklists is only useful if there is active team engagement, in which case they can be of great value and have been shown to reduce preventable errors
  • Before leaving it is also important to confirm that the receiving team are ready for your arrival. The coordinating staff member may take responsibility for this communication.
  • In the downloads section below, you will find examples of pre-departure checklists used by the Children’s Acute Transport Service (CATS) and North Central London Adult Critical Transfer Service (NCL-ACTS).

Paediatric Perspectives

Take a look at this video, in which the CATS team demonstrate the use of a pre-intubation checklist during a retrieval.

Please note: this video is a simulation and does not depict a real-life clinical event. The clinical details used in the simulation are invented and do not describe real patients. Everyone featured has kindly given their permission for the video to be used.

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A Journey Through Transfer Medicine

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