Hospital Unveils New Ambulance For Children

For children who need to get to the emergency room right away, Children's Memorial Hermann says it has the next best thing. It's a special ambulance fitted with equipment you'd find in most intensive care units. Bill Stamps has more.
Children's memorial Hermann showed off two new ambulances they call mobile pediatric intensive care units. Doctors say the transport team will be able to do anything in the ambulance that can be done in a pediatric ICU, including some surgical procedures like placing chest tubes. Jody Graham is the hospital's chief operating officer.

"We can incubate, meaning we can put airway tubes in these patients in transport, monitor their oxygen and then in some cases do small procedures. This team can also insert what are called picklines in patients that allow us to administer drugs."

The vehicles cost around 200 thousand dollars a piece. Not cheap but well worth it says Graham. He says every since Hurricane Ike, they've had to go farther and farther to pick up patients.

"Well, it has cardiac monitoring, and also C monitoring that we use for respiratory and critically ill patients. Most ambulances don't have, aren't outfitted with those services and it really it replicates everything you have at the bedside in an ICU, only it's in an ambulance."

The new vehicles are larger and have extra seating for a a family member of an addition emergency worker. Making it even more high tech, there's a DVD Player to play children's movies on that long trip to the hospital.

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.