Mercy Springfield is touting a new, more accommodating way of transporting children to a hospital with a higher level of care.
The Mercy Kids Transport Unit features child-sized equipment and advanced treatments that enable service to children from premature babies to 17 years old.
The mobile intensive care unit is unlike a regular ambulance, the hospital says. It can transport an infant-sized or a regular stretcher, and is equipped with extra insulation to eliminate road and environmental noises. It also includes a power system that can operate without the vehicle’s motor running.
“Along with most of the tools of a pediatric ICU, we also have comforts to ease anxiety for our young patients,” said Amber Jacobson, Mercy Kids Transport Team interim supervisor, said in a news release. “We’ve added safe seating so parents can ride in the back with their children, there’s a DVD player to provide a distraction and we have blanket and fluid warmers.”
Referring health care facilities will specifically ask the Mercy Kids Transport Unit to pick up a child by calling the Mercy Kids Connect line at 1-844-MRC-KIDS (672-5437).
The hospital credits the transport unit to contributions from four donors: Mercy Auxiliary, $155,000; John Q. Hammons, $100,000; and Mercy ProAm $55,000. In addition, officials say Rick Hughlett of Rick’s Automotive has agreed to provide the maintenance for the vehicle for the first five years.