What is Neonatal Transport?

NICU neonatal transport team loading transport isolette into air ambulance medical helicopter for preemie transfer to new hospital

As a NICU nurse, I know how important it is for parents to feel informed and prepared when their newborn baby requires neonatal transport. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, but I want to reassure you that your baby will be in good hands and that there are things you can do to make the process go smoothly.

What is neonatal transport?

Neonatal transport is the process of moving a newborn baby from one hospital to another for specialized medical care. This is usually necessary when a baby is born premature, has a medical condition that requires specialized care, or when the hospital where the baby was born is not equipped to handle their medical needs.

What should parents expect during neonatal transport?

The transport team will consist of experienced neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, and sometimes physicians. They will bring specialized equipment, including a transport incubator, to ensure that your baby is safe and comfortable during the journey.

The transport team will also monitor your baby's vital signs throughout the journey, including heart rate, breathing, and temperature. If your baby requires any medications or breathing support, the team will administer them as needed.

How can parents prepare for neonatal transport?

First and foremost, it's important to trust the transport team. They are highly trained professionals who will do everything they can to ensure the safe and comfortable transport of your baby.

Before the transport, it's a good idea to pack a bag with essentials for you and your baby, such as a change of clothes, snacks, and any medications or supplies your baby may need. You should also bring a copy of your baby's medical records and any relevant paperwork.

It's important to stay in communication with the transport team throughout the journey. They will keep you updated on your baby's condition and progress, and you can ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.

What happens after neonatal transport?

Once your baby arrives at the new hospital, they will be admitted to the NICU and evaluated by a medical team. The team will develop a plan of care specific to your baby's needs and keep you informed every step of the way.

As a parent, it's important to stay involved in your baby's care and to ask any questions you may have. Don't hesitate to speak up and advocate for your baby, but also trust in the expertise of the medical team.

Neonatal transport can be a scary experience for parents, but it's important to remember that your baby will be in good hands with the transport team. By staying informed, prepared, and involved in your baby's care, you can help ensure the best possible outcome for your little one.


photo credit: Jefferson Health

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