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Retrieval medicine: a review and guide for UK practitioners. Part 1: Clinical guidelines and evidence base
  1. P J Shirley1,
  2. S Hearns2
  1. 1Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK
  2. 2Emergency Medicine, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 P J Shirley
 Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London E1 1BB, UK;Peter.Shirley{at}


It has been proposed that formalisation of training to encompass prehospital and retrieval medicine should be considered in the UK, using those currently involved in immediate care as the core providers of these services.1 Although there is an overlap in some aspects of “prehospital” and “retrieval” medicine, there are some distinct differences, both in terms of the skill base and service provision required. Retrieval medicine is the term used to indicate the use of an expert team to assess, stabilise and transport patients with severe injury or critical illness. Implicit in this process is the early provision of specialised advice to the health providers at the patient’s side. In the UK, there is currently no national and often no regional strategy to coordinate the provision of secondary retrieval services for critically ill patients. International models do exist, which may be of help in this respect.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

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