Moving monitors, avoiding blind spots
Transporting sick patients can be a stressful task, and the sicker the patient, the greater the chance of problems during transport. The patient’s vital signs are monitored extensively and continuously in all care areas of the hospital but in the emergency room (ER), the operating room (OR), and the intensive care unit (ICU), it’s perhaps especially important as many patients in these units need very close surveillance and doctors need real-time information. When transferring these patients, it’s important not to lose vital information when plugging and unplugging equipment, so called blind spots.
It all starts with weighing the risks of patient transport against the benefits. Transferring a sick patient from the ICU or the ER to another unit or department in the hospital can be risky – and it is often stressful for both the patient and the healthcare professionals responsible for the transfer. Recent studies indicate that transported patients suffer two to four times more complications than non-transported ones, and about 46% of transported patients experience adverse events. Transport within the hospital is also associated with a longer patient stay in the ICU.
For a critically ill patient, the reduction or change of care and the movement itself can become the cause for serious complications and put their health at risk. Airway-related and pulmonary complications can occur during transport, as well as hemodynamic alterations. Cardiac arrest remains a concern for critically ill patients undergoing transfer, and intra-hospital transport has been suggested as a potential risk factor for infection. But intra-hospital transport can be necessary, as patients need diagnostic or therapeutic procedures or tests that are vital for their treatment and need to be conducted in another part of the facility.
Nurses play critical roles in helping to ensure that transports go smoothly and without blind spots, but the process may require cumbersome setups, especially when using large patient monitors which, because of their size, are not very convenient for this purpose. Also, transport monitors often have to be placed in patients’ beds. This means they sometimes get lost under the covers or may even drop on the floor. On the other hand, unplugging a patient from a monitor to be transferred, even for the shortest amount of time, means doctors lose some potentially critical information.
CARESCAPE ONE, launched at Euroanaesthesia 2018 in Copenhagen, is a lightweight plug-and-play transport monitor, designed to reduce complexity and transport within the hospital, while being durable enough to withstand drops to the floor — as can happen in the hectic hospital environment. It is fitted with a cable mount that holds all the cables, improving patient comfort. The parameter connectors of the new monitor are easy to attach and use identical USB ports so that any parameter may be plugged into any port.