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Lifeline: Transfer a Pediatric Patient to Hopkins

Requesting Transport

Contact the Pediatric Transport Team at 410-955-9444 and ask to speak to the transport fellow or nurse.  The following information will be needed:

  • Patient's name, age and weight 
  • Clinical presentation and chief complaint 
  • Diagnostic studies done at your facility 
  • Treatment provided at your facility 
  • Current vital signs 
  • Patient's past medical history and allergies 
  • Routine home medications 
  • Isolation status and last oral intake 
  • Patient's insurance information for transport vendor

Preparing the Transfer Chart

To decrease the time the transport team is at your facility, prepare copies of all medical records and a hard copy of all radiology studies.  The radiology department at Johns Hopkins is not always able to open up all types of electronically stored images, therefore hard copies are preferred.  The transport team does not like to transport lab specimens due to the risk of breakage or potential alteration of lab results.  The transport team or admitting physician will contact the lab at your facility for lab results.

For non-emergent transfers a signed consent form must be available in the chart.  A telephone consent may be documented by the attending physician if the parent or guardian is not present.  In an emergency, two physicians may document in the chart the emergency need for transfer and the reason consent cannot be obtained (e.g. parent is unconscious).  If necessary the second physician may be the receiving physician.  In emergency situations, transport will not be delayed to obtain consent.

Preparing the Patient for Transfer

  1. Secure all lines and tubes.  If possible, unstable patients should have two large bore IV's in place.
  2. Confirm ET tube placement with exhaled carbon dioxide detector (capnography preferred) and a chest x-ray if possible. A CXR is especially important in young children.
  3. All patients should be NPO for transport.  Patients who are transferred may need sedation and a maintenance IV fluid. The PICU transport team can give these recommendations when consultation is initially obtained.
  4. Patients who are coming to the pediatric trauma center will need to be immobilized with a collar and backboard prior to transfer.  The team will immoblize the patient upon arrival however if this has already done, it will reduce the bedside time at your facility.
  5. Children are at risk for hypothermia, therefore a recent temperature is helpful in determining appropriate warming measures during the transport.

Preparing the Family for Transfer

If possible, the transport team will transport one family member with the patient. If the patient is being transported by Helicopter, the team will have to consider the weight of the entire team to determine if a family member will be allowed to go with the patient.  Siblings will not be transported.  Recorded driving directions to Hopkins if needed are available by calling 410-955-0166. 

Patient Follow Up

Staff who cared for the patient at the sending facility may call the Transport Office at 410-502-2961 and leave a message for patient outcome information or email to  ANY CONCERNS RELATED TO THE PEDIATRIC TRANSPORT SERVICE MAY BE DIRECTED TO THE Transport Team Coordinator, Philomena Costabile at, or Team Medical Director, Dr. Kristen Nelson McMillan at, or Director, Dr. Bruce Klein at