Point-of-Care Laboratory Data Collection During Critical Care Transport

Published:November 03, 2020DOI:



      Critical care transport involves a high level of intensive clinical care in a resource-limited environment. These patients require multiple assessments guiding specialty treatments, including blood product administration, intravenous electrolyte replacement, ventilator management, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. This study aims to measure the usage of point-of-care (POC) laboratory data during critical care transport.


      Data were collected via electronic medical record review over 1 year of use in a hospital-based critical care rotor wing, fixed wing, and ground critical care transport team in the Southeastern United States.


      One hundred twenty POC tests were performed during 1,075 critical care transports over the 1-year period (8.9%). Patient transportations involved 35 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, 21 medical, 17 cardiac, 13 neonatal, 11 respiratory failure, 8 gastrointestinal bleeding, 6 neurologic, 5 pediatrics, 3 trauma, and 1 organ donor. Seventy-eight POC laboratory tests (65%) required intervention, including ventilator changes (39.7%), electrolyte replacement (35.8%), blood products (7.6%), and other (12.8%). The remaining 42 (35%) POC laboratory tests confirmed no intervention was necessary (n = 35) and that ongoing treatments were effective (n = 7).


      POC laboratory testing performed during critical care transport guides providers in performing essential emergent interventions in a timelier manner that may benefit critically ill patients.
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