Impact of interhospital transport on the physiologic status of very low-birth-weight infants

Prem Arora, Monika Bajaj, Girija Natarajan, Natasha Purai Arora, Vaneet Kumar Kalra, Marwan Zidan, Seetha Shankaran

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Objectives To evaluate the change in physiologic stability of very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants following transport using TRIPS (transport risk index of physiologic stability) score as a measure of physiologic stability and compare changes in TRIPS score in groups of VLBW infants who underwent shorter versus longer transport. Study Design Retrospective chart review. Results Our cohort of 106 infants, 44 (41%) of whom were females, had a mean birth weight of 777 g (standard deviation [SD] 159) and median gestational age of 26 weeks (range 23 to 32 weeks). Mean weight at transfer was 1,610 g (SD 924) and mean postnatal age at transfer was 56 days (SD 45). Median time on transport was 15 minutes (range 10 to 85 minutes). All 106 transports were ground transports. Of the 106 infants, 57 (54%) had deterioration, 20 (19%) had improvement, and 29 (27%) had no change in their physiologic status during transport. Comparison of the two transport duration groups based on median transport time as a cutoff point (i.e., ≤ 15 minutes and > 15 minutes) revealed a higher proportion of infants with deterioration in their physiologic status in the prolonged transport (>15 minutes) group (65% versus 45%; p = 0.03). Temperature change, either alone or in combination with other indices, was responsible for change in TRIPS score (deterioration or improvement) in 79% of these infants. Conclusions Interhospital transport of VLBW infants may cause deterioration in their physiologic status, the likelihood of which is increased with longer duration of transport. Better temperature regulation during interhospital transport may decrease the chances of deterioration in physiologic status of VLBW infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • TRIPS score
  • neonatal transport
  • transport duration


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