Children’s Hospital Adds New Ambulance to Transport Critically Ill Kids

By: Taylor Andres

It’s purple and blue and though colorful and pint-sized, it’s an ambulance. An ambulance designed just for children.

The Transport Team at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is responsible for transporting kids from places all over the world. The team transports patients by helicopter, airplane and ambulance from as far as Washington, D.C.; Buffalo, New York; Richmond, Virginia; and Osaka, Japan.

To improve patient care, UPMC Children’s unveiled a new state-of-the-art ambulance dedicated to transporting critically ill babies and children within 150 miles of Pittsburgh.

“The new ambulance decreases the risk of complications such as drops in heart rate and oxygen level,” said Dr. Melissa Riley, medical director of Neonatal Transport and Outreach Services at UPMC Children’s. This lowers the chances for neonatal patients to experience serious complications.”

More often than not, due to space limitations, parents are unable to travel in ambulances while their child is being transported. The new ambulance eliminates this issue and accommodates parents and family with seating in the front of the vehicle. Additionally, a camera in the front seat allows for a full view of the care taking place in the back of the ambulance.

Parents feel a sense of relief traveling with their child, and the ride is smooth and safe, limiting many possible complications. A hydraulic lift eases the children into the ambulance, which can be difficult, especially for infants with intensive care needs

Other ambulance features include additional oxygen, four-point safety seat harnesses and a generator for additional power. A GPS system guides the driver and enables the hospital’s waiting care team to track the ambulance location in preparation for its arrival. WiFi helps parents who want to update their families and friends on their child’s status.

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