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Schmidbauer, Moritz L.; Wiegand, Tim L. T.; Keidel, Linus; Zibold, Julia; Dimitriadis, Konstantinos (2023): Intrahospital Transport of Critically Ill Patients with Subarachnoid Hemorrhage—Frequency, Timing, Complications, and Clinical Consequences. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12 (24): 7666. ISSN 2077-0383

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Background: Patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) often necessitate intra-hospital transport (IHT) during intensive care treatment. These transfers to facilities outside of the neurointensive care unit (NICU) pose challenges due to the inherent instability of the hemodynamic, respiratory, and neurological parameters that are typical in these patients.

Methods: In this retrospective, single-center cohort study, a total of 108 IHTs were analyzed for demographics, transport rationale, clinical outcomes, and pre/post-IHT monitoring parameters. After establishing clinical thresholds, the frequency of complications was calculated, and predictors of thresholds violations were determined.

Results: The mean age was 55.7 (+/−15.3) years, with 68.0% showing severe SAH (World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Scale 5). IHTs with an emergency indication made up 30.8% of all transports. Direct therapeutic consequences from IHT were observed in 38.5%. On average, the first IHT occurred 1.5 (+/−2.0) days post-admission and patients were transported 4.3 (+/−1.8) times during their stay in the NICU. Significant parameter changes from pre- to post-IHT included mean arterial pressure, systolic blood pressure, oxygen saturation, blood glucose levels, temperature, dosages of propofol and ketamine, tidal volume, inspired oxygen concentration, Horovitz index, glucose, pH, intracranial pressure, and cerebral perfusion pressure. Relevant hemodynamic thresholds were violated in 31.5% of cases, while respiratory complications occurred in 63.9%, and neurological complications in 20.4%. For hemodynamic complications, a low heart rate with a threshold of 61/min (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93–0.99, p = 0.0165) and low doses of midazolam with a threshold of 17.5 mg/h (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95–1.00, p = 0.0232) significantly predicted adverse events. However, the model did not identify significant predictors for respiratory and neurological outcomes.

Conclusions: Conclusively, IHTs in SAH patients are associated with relevant changes in hemodynamic, respiratory, and neurological monitoring parameters, with direct therapeutic consequences in 4/10 IHTs. These findings underscore the importance of further studies on the clinical impact of IHTs.

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