Paramedics are required to make a variety of decisions regarding their patient, not only on the patient’s condition and course of treatment but also on the destination medical facility for further care.
The objective of this study by Kate Kloot was to describe the initial destination hospital of paediatric patients transported by Ambulance Victoria paramedics within the South Western area of Victoria to determine the proportion of patients that bypassed their closest hospital.
It found that almost 20% of paediatric patients were not transported to the closest hospital, paramedics focused on patient condition and the distance to a larger hospital when choosing destination, and uncertainty regarding 24 hour availability of resources at smaller hospitals contributed to longer transports.
Kloot K, Salzman S, Kilpatrick S, Baker T, Brumby SA. Initial destination hospital of paediatric prehospital patients in rural Victoria. Emerg Med Australas. 2016;28(2):205-10.