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Transport Arrange a Critical Care Transport
Transport Arrange a Critical Care Transport

"Transport of critically ill children to a pediatric tertiary care center can be conducted more safely with a pediatric critical care specialized team than with teams lacking specific training and expertise in pediatric critical care and pediatric transport medicine." Pediatrics 2009; 124:40-48

In accordance with providing the very best care possible for every child, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics believes that specialized care even during transport to one of our hospitals can make a tremendous difference. Typically less than 10 percent of the patients transported by traditional "adult" transport teams are under the age of 14.

These systems often do not have the pediatric-specific equipment and experience to optimally manage critical-care transports for neonatal and pediatric patients. Specialized transport teams have been shown to improve survival rates for neonates and pediatric patients.

When to Call for a Critical Care Transport: The American Academy of Pediatrics' national guidelines recommend the use of neonatal/pediatric specialty team for the transfer of all patients meeting the following criteria:

  • Any patient for whom ICU admission is anticipated at the receiving hospital.
  • Patients with respiratory distress that may progress during transport.
  • Patients with a recent life-threatening event, although stable at the time of transfer.

 According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children: 

  • Members of a pediatric/neonatal critical care transport team are able to care for premature newborns and children with life-threatening conditions, illnesses, or injuries such as:

    • Extreme prematurity

    • Congenital heart disease

    • Neonatal metabolic disorders

    • Asthma or other illnesses requiring respiratory or ventilator support

    • Heart conditions

    • Seizures

    • Injuries from car or other accidents

    • Diabetes

  • Pediatric/Neonatal Critical Care Transport Teams - The Best Care For Newborns and Children
  • When your newborn or child has a serious illness or injury that requires travel to another medical facility, a specialized transport team offers continued neonatal and pediatric inter-hospital critical care. Pediatric/neonatal critical care transport team members work with your pediatrician, as well as hospital doctors and medical staff to ensure that your newborn or child arrives safely at the designated medical facility.

How to Access the Critical Care Transport Team

  • Call 1-800-GO MERCY (800) 466-3729). Children's Mercy dispatchers can assist with all transport arrangements 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes putting you in contact with a Children's Mercy Hospital attending physician.
  • The transport team will be mobilized after receiving your call.

Information Needed for Transport 

  • Child's name, age, weight, date of birth
  • Chief complaint /diagnosis and present condition - especially level of consciousness
  • Medical history and allergies
  • Vital signs and assessment of ABC's
  • Treatments/medications initiated
  • IV's
  • Referring hospital or clinic, physician name and call back number

Transport Dispatch Process

  • Children's Mercy physicians including neonatologists, pediatric intensivists, or emergency room physicians are conferenced in on all transport requests with the referring physician and the transport crew members
  • Children's Mercy physicians and transport crew members determine the appropriate mode of transport for the patient: ground ambulance, helicopter or fixed wing
  • The transport team is dispatched
  • The referral facility is notified of the mode of transport and given an estimated time of arrival
  • A hospital bed is secured for the patient

Preparation and Stabilization of the Patient 

  • EMTALA/Cobra transfer form
  • Admission data sheet
  • Discharge summary
  • History and physical
  • Physician progress notes including discharge summary if inpatient
  • Nurses' notes
  • Laboratory results
  • X-rays/CT scans/MRI/Ultrasound (films or disc)
  • Mother's chart (neonatal transports)
  • For stabilization measures, please inquire with the medical-control physician when initiating transport. Otherwise consider the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, Advanced Pediatric Life Support or Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

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Updated: 7/20/2011

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