Top Requirements For NICU Evacuation

By Gregory Ward

The recent disasters have shown that the care units may have to evacuate their patients from time to time. The patients in the intensive care unit are medically vulnerable and will require specialized expertise and equipment to move them. NICU evacuation is a difficult process, and if not handled by trained personnel, it can result in more disaster. Hence, it becomes essential to have the Neonatal Intensive Care unit staff well-trained. The training should involve how to handle the patients and the right equipment to use. Consider some of the requirements to carry out the evacuation as discussed in the article.

Agreements ought to be made between different parties. For instance, an agreement should be between the hospital with the incident and other healthcare facilities. This ensures that the patients are received in these facilities without compromise. Again, an agreement between the hospital and transport agencies is vital to confirm that proper transport services will be available during this critical time.

A hospital should be equipped with the necessary equipment for moving patients safely. It should have a detailed preparedness plan that directs the staff on what to do during such a time. There should also be a leader who will coordinate the process by categorizing the ICU patients and communicating with the other hospitals supporting the removal.

Governing bodies should be included during this process. Their primary duty will be providing proper timing to undertake this process and give orders on the evacuation. As such, infirmaries must establish appropriate channels of communication. The mechanism must be reliable to make sure that the board of administration is contacted on time and orders are given promptly. This way, there will be no distractions on the ground. The authority is there to give orders on the best time for transporting the NICU patients before the overall population.

Ventilators with uninterrupted electric power and oxygen flow should be available for patients with respiratory problems. This is to make sure that their function is maintained during the evacuating period and while in the shelter. The equipment must be portable and able to run on a low flow of oxygen. These machines ought to be easy to operate and safe for both the staff and patients.

Should there be adequate time for the evacuation, it is advisable to remove the critically ill patients first before going for the less-sick ones. This will not only make it easy for transport but will also give the receiving facilities time to categorize these patients and get a suitable location for them based on the diseases or medical needs.

The preparation of the patient in the intensive care unit must be done before the hospital to hospital transfer. It should include diagnostic procedures, initial stabilization, medical interventions, and damage control techniques to make sure that any change during transportation can be addressed.

The medical details of a patient ought to be available in the receiving end. This is to confirm that the receiving hospitals can continue caring for the received patients. If an electronic record is not available, the hospital must produce a paper record containing the problem list and patient identification. This way, it becomes easy to handle patients.

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