A pediatric transport system should be capable of rapidly delivering advanced pediatric skilled critical care to the patient's bedside at the referring hospital and of maintaining that level of care during transport to the receiving hospital. Physicians and others with special expertise in pediatric transport have developed specific recommendations for pediatric transport systems.1-9 The Committee on Hospital Care of the American Academy of pediatrics, in collaboration with expert consultants, offers the following guidelines for pediatric transport. These recommendations require periodic review as new equipment, techniques, and data evolve in this rapidly progressing field. Some of these recommendations may need modification to fit local circumstances. This statement modifies and enlarges upon a previously published chapter in the AAP manual, Hospital Care of Children and Youth.10 Neonatal transport systems have many of the same characteristics.

OPTIMAL COMPONENTS OF A PEDIATRIC AIR-GROUND SYSTEM

The most important components of a pediatric transport system are medical control by a qualified pediatric specialist and a medical transport team composed of individuals qualified to care for critically ill children in a transport setting. Although a pediatric transport system may share components with an adult transport system (eg, dispatch, vehicles, emergency medical technicians), it should have its own medical director, its own protocol, a transport team specifically trained in pediatric critical care, and equipment and supplies appropriate for the care of pediatric patients.

An optimal pediatric transport system has available to it both air and ground ambulances combined into a flexible, coordinated system.

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