Skip to main content

Critical Care Transport of the Temporary Portable Ventricular Support Device.

OBJECTIVE: Cardiogenic shock is a critical emergency for which ventricular support devices (VSDs), such as the Impella (AbioMed Inc, Danvers, MA), are placed. Many referring facilities cannot provide cardiac intensive care. This requires a regional approach to the care of patients with VSD. Critical care transport to the regional center is needed and requires specialty trained personnel. As the need for specialty trained personnel increases, appropriate utilization of the personnel needs to be considered. This study illustrates the effective transport and successful management of Impella patients in the transport environment by a downsized specialty trained critical care team. METHODS: A retrospective chart review explored critical care transports of patients with Impella devices over a 73-month period. Our goal was to show that with training, protocols, and guidelines a downsized critical care team can effectively transport these high-risk, low-frequency patients. RESULTS: Forty-seven VSD transports occurred within 13,823 transports during the study period. Twenty-seven included an Impella device only. Thirteen were completed by a downsized team. One hundred percent of the transport resulted in the patient having perfusing rhythms and blood pressures at the receiving facility. CONCLUSION: VSDs can be successfully transported between hospitals with small specialty trained critical care transport teams using air or ground assets.


Benson, Matthew, Jamie Eastman, Deborah Allen, Kevin Mumma, and B Jason Theiling. “Critical Care Transport of the Temporary Portable Ventricular Support Device.” Air Med J 40, no. 6 (November 2021): 390–94.

Published Date: 
Monday, November 1, 2021
Published In: 
Air Med J