NEWS | February 18, 2021

Transport Nurses Day recognizes team for life-saving care

UC Davis transport nurses serve 33 Northern California counties


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UC Davis Children’s Hospital has a dedicated children’s transport team available to a 33-county area – and sometimes beyond – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team specializes in bringing an advanced level of care to infants and children at surrounding community hospitals, where appropriate resources may not be available. Today is Transport Nurses Day and we celebrate this team.

More than 700 children are transported each year to UC Davis Children’s Hospital by members of the Children’s Hospital Transport Team. Transport team members have extensive experience and training to perform this specialized role. When a critically ill or injured newborn, infant, or child needs a higher level of care, the team is dispatched to transport them quickly and safely to UC Davis Children’s Hospital. 

Who is the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Transport Team?

The team is comprised of 30 expanded role nurses with pediatric and neonatal critical care backgrounds and supervised by a UC Davis neonatologist or pediatric intensivist. When a transfer request for a higher level of care comes in, the attending physician at UC Davis Children’s Hospital discusses the case with the sending physician on a conference line, while the transport nurses listen in. 

When a decision is made to send the team, they then select the most efficient form of transport possible. They can fly with a contracted flight company using a fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter or go by ground in the specialized UC Davis Children’s Hospital ambulance.

The UC Davis Children’s Hospital transport program started in 2004. In their first year, the team completed 300 to 400 transports.

“The transport team is, many times, the first interaction patients and families have with UC Davis Children’s Hospital,” said Laura Kenny, assistant program manager of the Children’s Hospital Transport Team.  

What care do transport nurses provide?

The best care begins with the right training, but also requires the right equipment. The transport team nurses are trained to intubate and manage ventilators, when necessary. Inhaled nitric oxide is available for neonatal and pediatric patients with pulmonary hypertension. Two state-of-the-art transport isolettes, or incubators, are available. These isolettes are equipped with the latest medical equipment to aid in providing the high level of care required for the most vulnerable neonatal patients. High-flow nasal cannula is also available for both neonatal and pediatric patients.    

The UC Davis Children’s Hospital ambulance is funded by the Children's Miracle Network at UC Davis

For questions and additional information regarding the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Transport Team, please contact Laura Kenny, assistant program manager, at 916-734-1033.