Ambulance and Transport Services
Our patients come from every corner of Missouri, so getting them to us often becomes a critical component of their care. In many cases our patients need to get to us fast, and require specialized care along the way. That's where our highly unique pediatric transport team comes in. In fact, our team transports more than 420 of Missouri's young patients every year.
Steeped in Experience
Our pediatric transport team boasts a rich history of excellence. It began in 1973, after Elizabeth James, MD, a neonatologist at Children's Hospital, recognized a need for a way to get her tiny patients from rural Missouri communities to the neonatal intensive care unit at Children's Hospital in Columbia. These babies needed more than a ride or even a flight. They needed a way to be transported with life-saving medical equipment and health care professionals who could care for the sick, tiny infant on the way. Now, more than 35 years after it began, our pediatric transport service has moving kids down to a science.
A Team to Trust with Precious Cargo
Ours is a 26-member team combining the specialized expertise of registered nurses, respiratory therapists, emergency medical technicians, and neonatal and pediatric physicians. Each of our members possesses a unique skill set coupled with specific experience with perinatal, neonatal and pediatric transportation skills. In short, we know how to get our most precious of cargo safely to our facility, whether they are coming from 8 or one hundred and eighty miles away.
Our team is led by John Pardalos, MD, medical director of the transport service and Perinatal Pediatric Outreach Program and Patricia Wankum, MD, pediatric intensivist. Each team includes an RN, a respiratory therapist and an EMT. Each member of our team has completed specialized training and constantly refreshes his or her skills through courses and workshops.
Equipment to Do the Work
We make sure that our team members have access to leading-edge equipment to help them transport infants and children. When James first began transporting neonates, she used a car and a mobile incubator that plugged into the car's cigarette lighter. They had to invent their own equipment because the specialty was so new. Today our team has access to the very best pediatric medical equipment. For example, in 2003 a gift from Nancy and William Laurie and daughter Paige of Columbia, Mo., allowed Children's Hospital to add a special transport ambulance specifically designed from top to bottom to meet the health care needs of neonates and children.
This year, we were excited to present our new pediatric ambulance, designed by EMT's Dan McGavock and John Wood, specifically to meet the needs of the kids our staff transports to Children's Hospital from around the state. Thanks to the 12 mid-Missouri Walmart and Sam's stores that held fundraisers and raised $142,000 to purchase the ambulance. Ambulances have historically provided rear-loading access for patients, but Children's Hospital's newest ambulance features side-loading doors - one on each side of the ambulance. The design allows two patients to be transported simultaneously and provides a safer and more efficient environment for the nurse and respiratory therapist responsible for providing life-saving care to the patient while in route to the hospital.