|Landmark Anniversary: 35 Years of ACH Critical Care Transport|
We provide state of the art neonatal and pediatric care delivered by our experienced team that consists of pediatric critical care nurses, pediatric respiratory therapists, paramedics and EMTs. We provide inter-facility transport of patients - newborn through 21 - within the state of Florida and far beyond. All team members are NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Provider), PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Course), and ENPC (Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course) certified and many are C-NPT (Certified in Neonatal Pediatric Transport) as well.
We have expanded in many ways over these 35 years, especially in sheer numbers. In 1977, we transported 190 patients, all NICU, since the team only served the newborn population at that time. With the addition of pediatric services and relationships with area helicopter and fixed-wing programs, we have grown to help more than 1,500 patients annually. Amazing! Our team has transported nearly 35,000 children. Approximately 30 percent of those patients are admitted to our NICU, 25 percent to our PICU or CVICU and 25 percent to our Emergency Center. The remaining patients are transported to various subspecialty units.
Our team is available 24/7 and coordinated through the new ACH Patient Transfer Center (PTC). The PTC facilitates outside hospital transfers with only one phone call. When referring facilities utilize our team, we bring All Children's Hospital to the patients instead of waiting until they arrive here. With patient conditions ranging from extreme prematurity to advanced cardiac and airway requirements, we utilize the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approved algorithm to create a patient-specific care plan ensuring efficient and appropriate continuum of care.
We are trained for advanced procedures such as needle decompression, placement of chest tubes, umbilical lines, advanced airway management and Nitric Oxide administration. We also participate in education and safety updates from the Federal Aviation Association (FAA), which include night-simulated egress and water egress techniques. These training seminars promote critical thinking and life-saving techniques for any eventuality.
With an immediate service area of more than 100 miles, a comfortable kid-friendly ambulance ride is essential. Each is equipped with a flat-screen TV and radio. Child Life Services provides a current selection of DVDs for keeping toddlers to teenagers occupied. As advocates for family-centered care, we accommodate one parent or guardian when appropriate. Parent booklets and directions are also given to family members at bedside. We recognize that for many families, we are the first face of All Children's Hospital. In only minutes, we must establish a trusting relationship with both family and patient. This interaction sets the tone for their entire stay.
At 30 feet long and 11 tons, our three ambulances are larger than most on the road. Each is spacious enough for transportation of two patients simultaneously and 10 team members. Our state-of-the-art vehicles are specifically designed to reduce noise and vibration for a safe, made specifically for children transport environment. Each ambulance uses multiple levels of communication, including radio, Wi-Fi, cellular and satellite systems.
When typical transport distances are exceeded, we use fixed-wing aircraft. We have relationships with many licensed vendors whose aircrafts are configured for medical management of the most critical patients. Utilizing aircrafts specifically designed for our transports, we are able to quickly take advanced resources to domestic and international facilities.
Our team is passionate to share their experience and knowledge with others. Many staff members are instructors in the S.T.A.B.L.E. program (Sugar & Safe Care, Temperature, Airway, Blood Pressure, Lab Work, Emotional Support), NRP, and PALS. We provide classes for referring facilities at their location as well as in house at ACH. We also participate in dozens of community events each year.
By Megan Monahan, Transport Services Team Member