Desert Regional Medical Center highlights new Neonatal intensive care unit Ambulance and flight services as part of Emergency Medical Services Week.
The NICU ambulance has specific equipment for transporting premature and critically ill infants from hospitals as far away as Blythe and Twentynine Palms and beyond. They plan to use it to transport patients from sister hospitals JFK Memorial Hospital and Hi-Desert Medical Center. "It's bigger, so we can fit more people, which is great if you have twins or even triplets that need to be transported back at one time because we need more team members to go," says Shilo Dantzer, a Respiratory Therapist. "So if it's just one baby, we're good with two to three people. And if there are two babies, we need at least four people. So this allows that space for us to get all the team members to take care of those babies."
The helicopter has a special NICU team from Desert Regional and travels to remote hospitals to bring back infants who need faster response times. "It is essential that we have a helicopter to fly, and we service not only the local hospitals, but we also we do outreach to hospitals such as Blythe, California Twentynine Palms, says Lori Umanzio, a Nurse Practitioner at Desert Regional. So when there's an emergent delivery of a premature infant or a sick infant is really essential that we can get there in a shorter amount of time. So by having this particular helicopter, we can cut off more than half the time it would take by driving in the ambulance.
News Channel 3 will have a preview of the (NICU) ambulance and helicopter services that bring patients to the Coachella Valley’s Level 3 NICU.