Objectives: To examine the transport times of immediate and emergency retrievals for neonatal and paediatric patients retrieved by ground and air from general hospitals to tertiary centres.
Designs: We conducted a database review of the records of 17,011 requests for retrieval to a centralised transport service in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Australia from 2000 to 2006.
Results: Immediate and emergency retrievals included 4,575 (43.7%) neonatal and 5,887 (56.3%) paediatric retrievals. The median stabilisation time was 97 mins for neonatal compared to 50 mins for paediatric retrievals. Neonatal retrievals had significantly longer stabilisation time (~x2), handover time (~x1.2) and mission time (~x1.3) compared to paediatric retrievals.
Conclusions: Establishing reference times for the transport process is a valuable quality assurance tool. Such data will be valuable for staff and budgeting purposes and for evaluation of new interventions that reduce retrieval times.