Benchmarking Hospital Practices and Policies on Intrahospital Neurocritical Care Transport: The Safe-Neuro-Transport Study

Kapil G. Zirpe, Bhunyawee Alunpipatthanachai, Nassim Matin, Bernice G. Gulek, Patricia A. Blissitt, Katherine Palmieri, Kathryn Rosenblatt, Umeshkumar Athiraman, Suneeta Gollapudy, Marie Angele Theard, Sarah Wahlster, Monica S. Vavilala, Abhijit V. Lele

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An electronic survey was administered to multidisciplinary neurocritical care providers at 365 hospitals in 32 countries to describe intrahospital transport (IHT) practices of neurocritically ill patients at their institutions. The reported IHT practices were stratified by World Bank country income level. Variability between high-income (HIC) and low/middle-income (LMIC) groups, as well as variability between hospitals within countries, were expressed as counts/percentages and intracluster correlation coefficients (ICCs) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). A total of 246 hospitals (67% response rate; n = 103, 42% HIC and n = 143, 58% LMIC) participated. LMIC hospitals were less likely to report a portable CT scanner (RR 0.39, 95% CI [0.23; 0.67]), more likely to report a pre-IHT checklist (RR 2.18, 95% CI [1.53; 3.11]), and more likely to report that intensive care unit (ICU) physicians routinely participated in IHTs (RR 1.33, 95% CI [1.02; 1.72]). Between- and across-country variation were highest for pre-IHT external ventricular drain clamp tolerance (reported by 40% of the hospitals, ICC 0.22, 95% CI 0.00–0.46) and end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring during IHT (reported by 29% of the hospitals, ICC 0.46, 95% CI 0.07–0.71). Brain tissue oxygenation monitoring during IHT was reported by only 9% of the participating hospitals. An IHT standard operating procedure (SOP)/hospital policy (HP) was reported by 37% (n = 90); HIC: 43% (n= 44) vs. LMIC: 32% (n = 46), p = 0.56. Amongst the IHT SOP/HPs reviewed (n = 13), 90% did not address the continuation of hemodynamic and neurophysiological monitoring during IHT. In conclusion, the development of a neurocritical-care-specific IHT SOP/HP as well as the alignment of practices related to the IHT of neurocritically ill patients are urgent unmet needs. Inconsistent standards related to neurophysiological monitoring during IHT warrant in-depth scrutiny across hospitals and suggest a need for international guidelines for neurocritical care IHT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3183
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2023


  • adherence
  • adverse events
  • alignment
  • complications
  • critical care transport
  • intra-hospital transport
  • neurocritical care
  • policies
  • quality
  • safety
  • standard operating procedures


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