Interhospital Transfer of Patients With Acute Pulmonary Embolism: Challenges and Opportunities

Chest. 2021 Nov;160(5):1844-1852. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2021.07.013. Epub 2021 Jul 14.


Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The management paradigm for acute PE has evolved in recent years with wider availability of advanced treatment modalities ranging from catheter-directed reperfusion therapies to mechanical circulatory support. This evolution has coincided with the development and implementation of institutional pulmonary embolism response teams (PERT) nationwide and internationally. Because most institutions are not equipped or staffed for advanced PE care, patients often require transfer to centers with more comprehensive resources, including PERT expertise. One of the unmet needs in current PE care is an organized approach to the process of interhospital transfer (IHT) of critically ill PE patients. In this review, we discuss medical optimization and support of patients before and during transfer, transfer checklists, defined roles of emergency medical services, and the roles and responsibilities of referring and receiving centers involved in the IHT of acute PE patients.

Keywords: interhospital transfer; patients; pulmonary embolism transfer; transfer of pulmonary embolism; transition of pulmonary embolism care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Management / methods
  • Patient Transfer / organization & administration*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy*
  • Risk Adjustment / methods*