Limb Replantation in Air-Transported Patients: A 4-Year Study

Air Med J. Jul-Aug 2016;35(4):239-41. doi: 10.1016/j.amj.2016.01.005. Epub 2016 Mar 29.


Objective: Patients who require extremity reimplantation represent a population in whom rapid transport could provide potential benefit. Only 1 previous report has described the use of air transport in patients with these injuries. We describe our experience in air medical transport of limb reimplantation candidates.

Methods: A retrospective chart review for all patients with amputation or near-amputation extremity injuries who were transported by helicopter to a regional reimplantation center over a 4-year period was conducted. The primary outcome measure was patients who were taken to the operating room (OR) for a definitive repair attempt by the surgical team.

Results: Of the 115 patients, 104 were taken to the OR (90%), and 84 (80%) had a repair attempted. Similar results were found between those patients who were transported from the scene or another hospital with regard to the number of candidates taken to the OR and the number of patients in who definitive repair was attempted.

Conclusion: Air medical transport can play an important role in a regional reimplantation program.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Air Ambulances*
  • Amputation, Traumatic / surgery*
  • Child
  • Extremities / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Transfer
  • Replantation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transportation of Patients*
  • Young Adult