When is transfer indicated for drowning patients?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: G Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Patients must be treated in a facility capable of providing appropriate, age-related intensive care if they exhibit any of the following:

  • Significant hypoxia that requires intubation

  • Worsening dyspnea with the potential for intubation

  • Evidence of hypoxic cerebral injury

  • Evidence of renal insufficiency

  • Evidence of hemolysis

  • Severe hypothermia requiring cardiopulmonary bypass

Patients who require care for significant cervical spine or head trauma should be managed in a facility capable of sophisticated neurologic monitoring and neurosurgical intervention. Patients with severe neurologic impairment may benefit from transfer to inpatient rehabilitation institutions.

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