Pre-hospital and transferring patients

Infection prevention and control principles also need to be considered in the pre-hospital environment and when transferring patients between care settings.

Ambulance guidelines: Reducing infection through effective practice in the pre-hospital environment
In the pre-hospital environment, there are three key high-risk areas for the transfer of infection:

  1. Direct transfer, through the hands of clinical practitioners;
  2. Invasive devices, particularly those used for intravenous cannulation; and
  3. The emergency environment.

This guide explains how the risk of infection can be reduced by adhering to good practice in:

  • Hand hygiene;
  • The use of personal protective equipment;
  • Aseptic technique; and
  • Working in the pre-hospital environment.

Ambulance Guidelines Reducing Infection in a Pre Hospital Environment (PDF, 49.6 KB)

Ambulance – Antimicrobial prescribing
It is important to promote prudent antimicrobial use and good stewardship in ambulance and the pre-hospital care setting.  By doing so, the incidence of inappropriate antimicrobial prescribing should be reduced.

Ambulance Guidance Antimicrobial Prescribing (PDF, 83.3 KB)

Patient transfer
When transferring patients between care settings, there are a number of key actions that need to be carried out, and information that should be passed on, to help in the reduction of healthcare associated infection.

In particular, it’s crucial that healthcare professionals communicate:

  • Whether the patient is a risk in terms of infection control
  • What level of risk the patient presents
  • Any relevant treatments that the patient is receiving (e.g. antimicrobials)
  • Any other relevant information

Patient transfer form (PDF, 124.3 KB)
Patient transfer advice sheet (PDF, 29.5 KB)

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