Objective: Emergency medical services (EMS) typically transports patients to the nearest emergency department (ED). After initial presentation, children who require specialized care must undergo secondary transport, exposing them to additional risks and delaying definitive treatment. EMS direct transport protocols exist for major trauma and certain adult medical conditions, however the same cannot be said for pediatric medical conditions or injuries that do not meet trauma center criteria (‘minor trauma’). To explore the utility of such future protocols, we sought to first describe the pediatric secondary transport population and examine prehospital risk factors for secondary transport. Methods: Pediatric secondary transport patients aged 0–18 years were identified. Patients meeting state EMS trauma protocol criteria or who were clinically unstable were excluded. Data were abstracted by chart review of EMS, community hospital ED, and specialty hospital records. Patients were compared to control patients with similar conditions who did not require secondary transport. Results: This study identified 211 medical or minor trauma pediatric secondary transport patients between 2013 and 2014. The three most prevalent conditions were seizure (n = 52), isolated orthopedic injury (n = 49), and asthma/respiratory distress (n = 27). Increased odds of secondary transport for seizure patients were associated with administration of supplemental oxygen, glucose measurement, and online medical direction; for isolated orthopedic injuries, online medical direction; and for asthma/respiratory distress, administration of supplemental oxygen, and online medical direction. Decreased odds of secondary transport for seizure patients were associated with a higher GCS; for isolated orthopedic injuries, increased age and oxygen saturation; and for asthma/respiratory distress, administration of albuterol only. Conclusions: Children with seizures, isolated orthopedic injuries, and asthma/respiratory distress comprised the majority of the medical or minor trauma pediatric secondary transport population. Each of those conditions had specific risk factors for secondary transport. This study's results provide information to guide future prospective studies and the development of direct transport protocols for those populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine