Medical aviation: transportation of pediatric patients

Медицинская авиация: транспортировка пациента педиатрии

The transportation of pediatric patients requires an ambulance accompanied by paramedics. These services are intended for children with serious diseases or major injuries in need of special care for transportation over large distances.

What should you pay attention to when approaching a company that organizes the transportation of pediatric patients?

The carrier must be able to provide an extended range of pediatric ambulance services while accompanying a little patient to an appropriate institution and maintaining an equally high-quality service level during land or air transportation.

What should you do if the air carrier is unable to provide a pediatric emergency paramedic?

It is always preferable to choose companies/agents/intermediaries specialized in the transportation of child patients. Even if pediatric patient transportation is unavailable, all emergency care units should have medical equipment suitable for providing the main and extended ranges of life-support services.

May an accompanying person stay with the child?

Медицинская авиация: транспортировка пациента педиатрии

It is normal for an accompanying person (a parent, a guardian, a close relative) to continuously stay with the child during their transportation. However, if there are any concerns regarding the containment of diseases, certain precautionary measures must be taken. First, if the child manifests only light symptoms, such as fever and vomiting, the accompanying person may stay close by, but they should wear a protective mask, gloves and an impermeable coat. An untrained person may need external assistance in putting on and taking off the personal protective equipment. If there is a risk of contamination via the child’s bodily fluids, the accompanying person is prohibited from being beside the patient while they are in transport to a medical institution.

What steps should be taken to speed up the process?

To speed up the process, the responsible person (parent) should, in advance of the arrival of the pediatric ambulance team, fill in all required documents. Copies of medical records, including scanned copies of previous radiographic investigations, including X-ray examinations and magnetic resonance imaging, should be placed in a file and submitted to the medical team that will accompany the child during land or air transportation to the nearest hospital.

How will a pediatric patient be transported?

The best transportation mode will be determined depending on the child’s condition and the distance to be covered. The transportation team will include a pediatrician or a practicing neonatology paramedic, a nurse and emergency medical care experts. Possible alternatives:

Медицинская авиация: транспортировка пациента педиатрии

  • Land emergency medical transport with specialized pediatric equipment;
  • Air transportation of pediatric patients can be provided by a fixed wing aircraft, with the need for an accompanying medical team. Regulations regarding the maximum transportation distance permitted and aircraft types permitted for the transportation of pediatric patients differ depending on the country or countries in question.

How should I prepare for travel?

It is recommended that neither the family, nor the patient leave the medical institution until the transportation team arrives, as family’s consent for transportation is required.

Only upon arrival at the patient’s location,  the pediatric team can decide on whether the accompanying person may travel with the child. In other words, the decision depends on the patient’s condition.

In order to prevent traffic accidents, the parents are advised not to follow the ambulance that takes the child to the medical plane or helicopter, if this is necessary.

Should personal protection means be used for the child in transportation?

No, children should not use this equipment. This equipment is designed to limit the contact of people around the patient with their body fluids. In fact, the use of personal protection equipment with a pediatric patient can hinder treatment. For this reason, measures that may limit access to the child are not recommended.

What about sanitary treatment of vehicles and equipment?

If no decontamination equipment is available, the medical team must have a means of disinfecting the equipment and the vehicle. If the carrier’s staff does not include a sanitary treatment professional, these operations should be outsourced. This is particularly important in cases of transportation of pediatric patients from areas of widespread virus outbreaks (for example, Ebola).

What are the main factors in the safe transportation of children?

Медицинская авиация: транспортировка пациента педиатрии

Transportation ministries in various countries develop regulations for the safe land and air transportation of patients. Thus, a personal car seat for the patient is the preferred choice in a land ambulance to be subsequently disinfected in accordance with waste treatment manuals. If the emergency care team uses stretchers, they should also be disinfected in accordance with the recommendations of state authorities.

Is there any specialized equipment in vehicles used for transportation of children?

An isolated pediatric transportation unit is a piece of equipment that guarantees complete air circulation or provides negative pressure. As a general rule, major air carriers involved in medical aviation operations install such devices onboard their aircraft.

Olga Shoshina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *