University Hospital of Wales Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Guideline Printed on Wed 23-jul-08
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Last updated March 7, 2019 8:21 AM

0300 0300 789

02920 744622

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029 2184 7322


Noah's Ark Childrens Hospital for Wales
Heath Park
CF14 4XW
02920 747747

Retrieval service - WATCH



Since 1st September 2015, retrieval of patients from other hospitals into Cardiff PICU has been operated by a newly commissioned service operated from Bristol, but managed jointly by the PICU clinicians in Bristol Children's Hospital and Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales.

WATCH stands for Wales and West Acute Transport for Children - visit their website for more detailed information

Why retrieval?

The centralised nature of paediatric intensive care means that the majority of critically ill children will present for initial management to a hospital without specialist PICU facilities. These children will then need to transferred to PICU. Evidence suggests that this is best undertaken by specially trained teams.

Time-critical transfers

Occasionally, there are children for whom the benefits of retrieval are outweighed by the requirement for urgent surgery - this is typically children with and intracranial haematoma or a blocked ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. The most rapid way to transport these children to theatre is for the referring hospital to transfer them. All hospitals who potentially deal with such children are therefore advised to have a procedure in place to enable them to undertake these transfers.