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In 1986, at least 10000 seriously ill patients in the United Kingdom required secondary transfer to adult intensive care units in other hospitals. Although 75 of 181 (41%) intensive care consultants were dissatisfied with transfer arrangements, only 10% (number not provided) ever refused a request for transfer. The establishment of dedicated regional transport services was recommended. It has also been recommended that patients should be retrieved by teams from receiving intensive care units, and that local capabilities be maintained for urgent transfer of patients with head injuries.[2 3] We reviewed current secondary transfer facilities and numbers and established the main indications for transfers.
Methods and results
Late in 1994 we surveyed 278 general or mixed intensive care units in the United Kingdom by postal questionnaire; 198 (71%) responded. The mean annual admission rate to intensive care units was 353 (range 40-1540) patients, and annually an average of 23 …