Abstract During a 5-year period (1979 to 1983), 50 consecutive patients undergoing continuous intraaortic balloon (IAB) pumping were transferred from Evanston Hospital to Northwestern Memorial Hospital (16 miles), where they underwent cardiac operation. All patients had cardiac catheterization before transfer. Indications for IAB were cardiogenic shock (9 patients), postinfarction angina (18 patients), unstable angina (9 patients), evolving myocardial infarction (3 patients), accelerating angina or hemodynamic instability during cardiac catheterization (9 patients) and prophylactic insertion for high-grade left main stenosis (2 patients). Transportation after stabilization was uneventful in all patients. All patients underwent operative coronary revascularization. There was concomitant mitral valve replacement in 3 patients, acute ventricular septal defect repair in 1 patient, aortic valve replacement in 1, and ventricular aneurysmectomy in 1. Three patients (5%) died postoperatively. Nine patients (20%) had complications directly related to IAB insertion. One patient required femoral-femoral arterial bypass preoperatively, 4 patients had postoperative lower limb ischemia treated by IAB removal or thrombectomy and 1 patient had thrombocytopenia (< 60,000/mm 3), 1 false aneurysm, 1 anterior compartment syndrome and 1 prolonged bleeding at the insertion site. Interhospital transfer with IAB pumping in progress should not be restricted to patients with cardiogenic shock, but can be effectively used for all patients who require preoperative IAB insertion. It should be a therapeutic adjunct in any hospital treating acute cardiac patients where there are physicians skilled in IAB insertion and management and may be instituted without regard for the necessity to transport to another facility.