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Adult Transport Team

The adult critical care retrieval service is available to assess stabilise and transfer seriously ill or injured patient’s between hospitals in Northern Ireland.

Indications for transfer include specialist investigation or treatment not available in the referring hospital, lack of availability of a staffed critical care bed and repatriation.

Patients may be sedated and on mechanical ventilation. They may also be receiving vasopressor and/or inotropic support/ These interventions are continued throughout the transfer process.

Patients are transferred on a specialised critical care trolley equipped with a portable ventilator, intravenous drug infusion pumps and a critical care patient monitor.

The transfer team is comprised of a Doctor, a nurse, and an ambulance care attendant (ACA). The doctor is a Consultant in either ICU, Anaesthesia or Emergency Medicine with additional experience in critical care retrieval. The nurse is an ICU nurse from the Regional Intensive Care Unit (RICU) who also has transport experience. The ACA provided by NIAS but works exclusively for NISTAR.

The team work 12 hour shifts, 08.00-20.00 and 20.00-0800. The current hub is RICU, Belfast. The service is available seven days a week, all year round.

In additional to undertaking retrievals, adult NISTAR has an important role in the delivery of education and training of staff in all hospitals in Northern Ireland who may have to perform the occasional time critical transfer.