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July 28, 1978

Civilian Ground and Air Transport of Adults With Acute Respiratory Failure

Author Affiliations

From the Pulmonary Division (Dr Harless) and the Department of Medicine (Drs Morris and Schmidt), University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City, and the Pulmonary Division (Dr Schmidt and Ms Cengiz) and the Intermountain Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (Dr Morris and Ms Holt), LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City. Dr Harless is now with the Bend (Ore) Memorial Clinic.

JAMA. 1978;240(4):361-365. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290040039019

The Intermountain Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (IRICU), established in 1973 at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, provides specialized care for adults and older children with severe respiratory failure in the intermountain West. Because of the large area serviced by the IRICU, a transportation system for the critically ill was developed. Our report describes the transport system, including team organization, techniques, and experiences. Of 44 attempted transports during the last three years, 43 (98%) were safely accomplished without obvious ill effect to the patient. Patients with severe respiratory failure, if their conditions are adequately stabilized, can be safely transported hundreds of kilometers by ground and air by a well-equipped and well-trained team of physicians and nurses.

(JAMA 240:361-365, 1978)