A patient may be transferred to another hospital if one or more conditions are present. The potential benefits of the transfer should exceed the risks.


Indications for transfer of a critically-ill patient from a facility:

(1) lack of specialized facilities (neonatal or cardiac ICU, trauma center, other)

(2) lack of necessary equipment

(3) lack of medical specialists

(4) lack of space (all beds full)


A patient may be transferred back to a local hospital:

(1) admitted unexpectedly to a facility far from home

(2) for recovery after initial therapy


Requirements before transfer:

(1) The patient must be stabilized.

(2) The receiving hospital is aware and agrees to the transfer.

(3) The patient or family gives informed consent.

(4) The transport can be performed safely.

In the United States laws such as EMTALA (see Chapter 42) regulate transfers.


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