New Isolette Enables Air and Ground Transportation for Community’s Smallest Babies Transferring to Abington Hospital
ABINGTON, PA (March 15, 2021) – Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) now has a special isolette that enables air or ground transportation for babies born from as young as 23 weeks gestation up to three months of age.
With the acquisition of a new neonatal transport isolette, babies can now be transferred to (or from) the Hospital’s Level 3B NICU via air transport by JeffStat or ground transportation by ambulance. Up to this point, babies would often be transferred out of Montgomery or Bucks counties to Philadelphia hospitals.
Examples of babies who might need transport to Abington Hospital for care include the following:
- Any premature baby 35 weeks and under needing to be admitted to a Level 3B NICU
- Babies born at hospitals that do not have maternity services
- Babies born full term who need a high level of care such as respiratory support, inhaled nitric oxide or therapeutic hypothermia
- Infants three months of age or less needing intensive care
“Transferring seriously premature babies out of our community can create hardship to local families who want to visit their baby every day,” said Eddie Chang, MD, chief of Neonatology, Abington – Jefferson Health’s Andrew Tesauro Special Care Nursery. “Welcoming a premature infant into your family can be a very happy, but stressful time. Having a sick full-term baby can also be very difficult. We are pleased to be able to remove the burden of travel to Philadelphia for these already stressed and busy parents.”
The five-member team that accompanies these babies during their air transport via helicopter includes a neonatal nurse practitioner or physician, NICU nurse, flight nurse, flight paramedic and of course, the helicopter pilot. For ground transportation, the personnel includes a neonatal nurse practitioner or physician, NICU nurse and a registered nurse with additional training in emergency medical conditions.
Abington Hospital has partnered with Nemours Children’s Health Network to provide pediatric physicians who specialize in surgery, cardiology and infectious diseases. These physicians are available to babies needing specialty care at Abington Hospital. Abington also offers experts in Pediatric Radiology, Anesthesia, Neurology, Urology, ENT or Ophthalmology if testing or other subspecialty expertise is required as part of baby’s care.
“Pregnancy is such a joyous and hopeful time,” said Chang. “Families tend not to think about what can go wrong during pregnancy or delivery. I am very happy we can be there for them, no matter where they deliver in the community, now that we have assembled a team with the capability to accommodate these often small and very young infants.”
About Abington – Jefferson Health
Abington – Jefferson Health encompasses Abington Hospital in Abington, Abington – Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township and seven convenient outpatient facilities located in Blue Bell, Elkins Park, Horsham, Lower Gwynedd, Montgomeryville, Warminster and Willow Grove. More than 1,400 physicians are on staff at both Abington Hospital and Abington – Lansdale Hospital. Abington – Jefferson Health is part of Jefferson Health and Jefferson, an organization dedicated to providing the highest quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educating the healthcare professionals of tomorrow, and discovering new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.