Pediatric conditions requiring interfacility transport from emergency departments: A statewide study of regionalization

Ali Aledhaim, Jennifer N. Fishe, Jon Mark Hirshon, Jennifer F. Anders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Pediatric care is increasingly regionalized, increasing rates of interfacility transport (IFT). However, it is unknown what conditions most frequently require IFT. This study's objective was to identify high-frequency pediatric conditions requiring IFT. Methods This is a statewide retrospective observational study from 2010 to 2012 of pediatric patients (<18 years of age) who underwent IFT in Maryland. Patients were identified from the Health Care Utilization Project's database using probabilistic linkage. This study identified the 20 most common pediatric IFT conditions, and the conditions with the highest IFT rates. Results Probabilistic linkage was successful for 2254 records. The largest age category was 0 to 4 years (43%). The top 3 IFT conditions were asthma (13.5%), epilepsy (8.5%), and diabetes mellitus (6.6%). Diabetes mellitus had the highest IFT rate (24%), followed by appendicitis (15.5%) and internal obstruction (14.4%). Conclusions Specific pediatric conditions commonly require IFT and had high IFT rates in this statewide study. In addition, the largest age group undergoing IFT was young children (0 to 4 years of age). This study provides specific detail regarding conditions and ages impacted by IFT, and emergency medical services should consider incorporating these findings into transport destination algorithms. In addition, public health stakeholders should address implications of the concentration of care for these common pediatric conditions and younger age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E319-E323
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Asthma
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Interfacility transport
  • Regionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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