Background and aim The use of these safety measures during neonatal transport may reduce stress and improve physiological stability. There is no UK. national guidance for the use of specific measures such as restraints and ear defenders. As part of a quality improvement initiative we sought to benchmark these current safety practices by neonatal transport teams in the UK.
Methods We surveyed all institutions undertaking neonatal transport in the UK. A questionnaire was devised and sent by email to the lead doctor and nurse of all 25 teams. We asked teams whether they used the safety measures in question and if so the specific type. We provided a section for open comment. An additional follow-up phone call was performed to complete or clarify information.
Results Twentyfour (96%) of teams responded; 21/24 (88%) used some form of restraint within transport. Three types of restraint are currently used within the U. K. Comments were provided regarding infection control and the safety effectiveness of restraints. Thirteen (54%) respondents did not use ear defenders of any kind in any situation. In teams using ear defenders, 6/11 (55%) used them in all situations and 2/11 (18%) used them specifically for MRI and air transport. Respondents described difficulty in securing the defenders and concerns with effectiveness.
Conclusion These results show that within the UK there is a variation in neonatal transport safety practices, specifically in the use of restraints and ear defenders. This information will allow development and improvement of safe and secure transport practice.