In order to better serve the children in our region, a collaboration between UW Med Flight and the physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of UW Children’s Hospital has led to the development of a ground ambulance service called “CHETA,” the UW Children’s Hospital Emergency Transport Ambulance. The new UW Critical Care Transport Program, representing these combined efforts of Med Flight and CHETA, is now capable of responding to sick and injured children by air or by ground, making it a full-service medical transport program. In addition, the team composition can be tailored to the level of care required for the patients being transported, allowing less sick patients to receive a high level of care but still having the highest level of care available to respond in case of an emergency.
Pediatric patients are not “little adults” and their response to illness and injury is much more time-sensitive. This fact alone requires that specialized pediatric critical care be brought to the bedside of those children before they arrive at the Children’s Hospital. By bringing specially trained pediatric physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists to them while they are still in their community hospitals, studies have shown improved survival. “Early resuscitation, stabilization and on-going management of these children leads not just to improved survival but ultimately a better quality of life for these sick and injured children,” states Tom Brazelton, MD, MPH, FAAP, pediatric critical care physician and medical director of CHETA. “In developing this ground ambulance for pediatric patients, the UW Children’s Hospital has taken the next step in fulfilling its mission as a comprehensive and dedicated children’s hospital, capable of delivering the highest level of care available anywhere for the children of Wisconsin.”