The Edward Hospital Transport Team keeps a dedicated ambulance available 24/7 to transfer women to Edward in high-risk pregnancy situations and premature infants who need pediatric specialists or a level of neonatal care not available in other areas.
|Donald R. Taylor, DO
Medical Director, Maternal
Edward was recently redesignated by the State of Illinois as Level III, the highest distinction a hospital can earn, for maternal fetal medicine.
"Level III refers to having a nursery capable of taking care of any baby, no matter how small or whatever problem it has, " explains Donald Taylor, DO, medical director of maternal fetal services at Edward.
The Transport Team includes a maternal unit and neonatal unit. To transport a mother, Edward typically sends two nurses from its Labor and Delivery Unit. The neonatal unit transfers stable or unstable newborns. For an unstable newborn, the team comprises a neonatologist, a nurse, and a respiratory therapist. The team for a stable newborn usually includes two nurses or a nurse and a respiratory therapist.
The Transport Team is available for very high-risk mothers, but Taylor predicts it will likely be deployed most often for the benefit of the baby. A Level II hospital, he says, may be able to care for mother but lack a neonatal unit or the appropriate equipment.
Even if the original hospital could handle the delivery, it's best to transfer the mother pre-delivery if that hospital doesn't offer suitable neonatal care. "The most ideal way to transport a baby is inside the mother," Taylor says.