Parents as passengers during pediatric transport.
INTRODUCTION: The transport environment presents a unique setting in which the feasibility, advantages, and disadvantages of passengers accompanying a patient must be assessed carefully. The purpose of this study was to describe the current practice of including parents as passengers during pediatric interfacility transport. METHODS: One-hundred-eighty-eight critical care transport programs in the United States responded to a voluntary mail survey, providing information about current policies, practices, and crew perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of carrying parents as passengers. RESULTS: Extra seating for passengers was available in 96% of ambulances, 86% of fixed-wing aircraft, and 54% of helicopters used for pediatric transport. Parents traveled as passengers in all types of vehicles; most frequently in ambulances and fixed-wing aircraft. Twenty percent of helicopter programs allowed parent passengers on more than half of their pediatric transports in this vehicle. Advantages of parent passengers included emotional benefit for the parent and child, availability of parents for history and consent, good public relations, and having the parent present if the child dies. Disadvantages included potential parent anxiety, crew distraction, and space limitations. DISCUSSION: This study reflects the widely diverse policies, practices, and opinions relevant to this topic and confirms a need for further study.
Lewis, MM; Holditch-Davis, D; Brunssen, S
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