Pediatric / NICU Critical Care Transport
The Betty H. Cameron Women's & Children's Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit facility in Southeastern North Carolina. At present, there are no dedicated pediatric transport vehicles within the seven (7) county New Hanover Regional Medical Center catchment areas. As a result, adult transport services are either adapted for responses to pediatric calls or pediatric/neonatal transport services are called in from outside the area, such as Chapel Hill, Greenville and Raleigh NC (each approximately two and a half hours away.) An ambulance specifically designed for and equipped to transport neonatal and pediatric patients would allow New Hanover Regional Medical Center medical staff to better serve our patients and families.
When an adult unit is reconfigured for a pediatric or NICU patient, an additional 30 minutes is required to make the vehicle ready for a transport. Portable bags replete with specialized pediatric/NICU appropriate medical supplies and equipment must be gathered and placed on the vehicle, resulting in a less than desirable environment for high quality and timely transport care. At present, the Neonatal Team will call and wait for an available VitaLink ambulance. Upon arrival, the NICU team will convert the adult ambulance by switching equipment and stretchers. The Critical Care ambulance is not available to transport adult patients during the time it is committed to the NICU or Pediatric transport. The dedicated Pediatric/Neonatal Transport would allow a more efficient response. Currently the response time is at 51% occurring in 30 minutes or less and 64% of patients being reached within 90 minutes of request (call to VitaLink - NHRMC's ground transport service) time and care for children and adult patients.
With a new dedicated pediatric transport, we will establish two response time goals as core measures of the success. They are as follows:
- More than 85% of the time, our response time will be less than 30 minutes for urgent and emergent pediatric transports.
- Arrival time to patient bedside at regional facilities with appropriately trained and equipped team will be within 90 minutes of request at least 85% of the time. (These include transports from community hospitals within our region such as Brunswick, Pender, Duplin, Cumberland and Onslow counties where a premature infant's condition or a critically ill child needs the specialized care available at Cameron Women's & Children's Hospital.)
There are many unique exterior and interior features which can make a dedicated NICU / Pediatric transport ambulance a calming atmosphere for patients / family and a work friendly environment for staff. Some of those features include pastel/primary colors for infants/children; extra seating for family members; video link to for parents to view child; and a DVD player for critical care children to watch on long transports. Again, all these items help alleviate the stress of the patient and family.
As a regional referral center, New Hanover Regional Medical Center transported approximately Three Hundred Fifty Eight neonatal and pediatric patients from neighboring county hospitals to Wilmington for treatment in FY08. Occasionally, the team will transport patients to a larger facility for specialty care.
As an organization committed to provide highly specialized pediatric and neonatal services, the Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital needs to have a dedicated pediatric transport. With this specialized transport, our facility will then be able to offer the level of service that is commensurate with other children's hospitals in North Carolina.
In April 2009, the Foundation received a very generous $125,000.00 matching grant from the Eshelman Foundation. In response, we are seeking support to realize the matching funds needed to allow us to purchase this specialized life saving transport - won't you please help save a child's life? At whatever level - your gift will make a difference. To make an online donation to this program, click here and select Pediatric Critical Care Transport in the field "I would like my donation to benefit..."
For more information regarding this effort or to schedule a tour of any of the new facilities at NHRMC, please contact Hollan Anderson at 910-815-5047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.