In a large hospital, a more elaborate procedure is necessary. Regardless of the type of
treatment facility, however, the basic purpose of transporting the patient is the same--to
move the patient safely in and out of the OR. To this end, the OR specialist
transporting patients should observe many precautions.
b. Responsibility of the Operating Room Specialist. In a large hospital, the
circulator is often the person who transports the patient to the surgical suite. However,
another specialist from the surgical staff may be assigned to transport the patient when
the surgery load is heavy, when the distance from nursing unit to OR is long, or when
local policy so prescribes. The anesthetist and surgeon always accompany the patient
to his post-surgical destination. The specialist is responsible for the patient's safety and
well being whenever he is transporting the patient. Therefore, the specialist must know
the appropriate procedure for obtaining and transporting the patient. The specialist
must know how to recognize and deal with symptoms of distress in the patient and
know the location of emergency supplies and equipment along the route. The specialist
must never leave the patient unattended on transporting equipment. One person must
be with such a patient at all times. In addition, the specialist must account for the
c. Preliminary Preparation.
(1) Preparing the litter.. The specialist's first step in transporting the patient
is to "dress" the litter (see figure 3-1). This is to be done in such a way as to ensure the
safety and comfort of the patient while in transit. The specialist does this procedure as
Figure 3-1. Dressed OR litter with safety straps attached.
(a) Place a sheet, folded in half, lengthwise, on the mattress of the litter
and tuck it under the mattress all around.
(b) Open fully a second sheet, centered lengthwise, and place it in the
litter with one edge at the head of the litter. Now fanfold the sheet from both sides and
fold the remaining material at the foot of the mattress.