Our patients come from every county in Missouri, so transporting them quickly to Children's Hospital can be a critical component of their care. In many cases, our youngest patients require specialized medical attention along the way. That's where our pediatric transport team plays a vital role. Every year, our expert team transports more than 400 of Missouri's smallest patients to Children's Hospital.
Many of our patients who need to be transported to Children's Hospital are newborn babies needing care in our Level III neonatal intensive care unit in Columbia. En route to the hospital, these babies need life-saving medical equipment and health care professionals who can care for them.
To accomplish that, we transport babies using a medical helicopter or ambulance - such as the pediatric ambulance that mid-Missouri Walmart and Sam's Club associates purchased for Children's Hospital in 2010 through their generous fundraising efforts.
As medical technology advances and the need for medical transport services for ill and injured children throughout Missouri increases, the need for additional transport resources also rises.
If Children's Hospital is selected for the Walmart Foundation Associate Choice Program $100,000 grant, we will use the funds to help purchase a neonate isolette. A neonate isolette is used like a portable intensive care unit, allowing our pediatric transportation team to provide high-level care to infants until they can be safely transferred to Children's Hospital's newborn intensive care unit.
An isolette provides a warm, safe environment for a baby up to 15 pounds, and it can be used in an ambulance or helicopter. The isolette has a built-in ventilator to help babies breathe air or pure oxygen, and it has equipment to allow babies to breathe a special gas called nitric oxide, which helps treat babies with lung problems. Some premature babies need this because their lungs are not yet fully formed. It also has technology to monitor a baby's heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, blood pressure and oxygen level.
This new newborn isolette would help us care for our young patients. When minutes - even seconds - count, the availability of important medical equipment like this isolette makes all the difference.