Around the Clock

Two dedicated teams are in place 24 hours a day to respond to requests from referring physicians to transfer acute and non-acute pediatric patients from outlying area facilities to CHKD or other specialized care hospitals outside of our service area.

Each CHKD-based transport team consists of a specially trained intensive care registered nurse, paramedic and respiratory therapist, all qualified in both neonatal (newborn) and pediatric (infants through teens) care.

How The Team Operates

The nurse acts as the team leader in prioritizing care and treatments. The nurse comes to the team with experience in ICUs, either neonatal or pediatric. The paramedic brings to the team vast knowledge and experience in pre-hospital medical treatment and skills such as emergency procedures and emergency vehicle operations. The respiratory therapist contributes extensive knowledge of respiratory disease and treatments of respiratory problems in the pediatric setting, coming to the team with experience from the pediatric or neonatal ICUs.

Our two transport teams allow for simultaneous requests to be fulfilled, including the response to twins born prematurely. The transport team responds primarily by using CHKD's two mobile intensive care units. When circumstances require, the team also uses fixed-wing aircraft for long-distance transports and helicopters for special response (short distances).

Putting The Team Into Action

The team can be activated only by a physician's request and will operate under the direction of a CHKD physician once sent. The team is activated by a CHKD attending physician once contact with the referring physician has confirmed the need for transport. Referring physicians should ask for the response of the CHKD transport team during consultation. Referring physicians need only call one phone number for both consultation and transport team activation, (757) 668-8000.

Because the transport team often starts the treatments that would normally start once the child is in CHKD, either at the referring facility or during transport to CHKD, the child reaps the benefit. The transport team has a wealth of information and resources. The same quality of equipment that is found within the hospital also travels with the transport team to the patient, thereby always providing child-specific equipment and supplies during transport.