Del­i­cate op­er­a­tion to move new­borns

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - FRONT PAGE - Sarah Brookes

IT will be a del­i­cate op­er­a­tion when crit­i­cally ill new­borns, whose tiny lives hang in the bal­ance, are trans­ported to the new Perth Chil­dren's Hos­pi­tal next month.

On the job will be staff from the New­born Emer­gency Trans­port Ser­vice of WA (NETS WA), a spe­cial­ist team of doc­tors and nurses solely ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing neona­tal in­ten­sive care dur­ing trans­port.

NETS WA clin­i­cal nurse con­sul­tant Kylie McDon­ald, of River­vale, has been trans­port­ing sick and pre-term new­borns for more than two decades and said the safety of the lit­tle pa­tients was para­mount dur­ing the move from Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal to the new chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal.

“Our motto is pro­vid­ing the great­est care for the small­est pa­tients any­time, any­where,” she said.

“The ba­bies will be trans­ported in our spe­cial­ist am­bu­lances us­ing a por­ta­ble in­cu­ba­tor, which is in fact an in­ten­sive care unit on wheels for ba­bies.

“The spe­cial­ist NETS am­bu­lances re­quire a very spe­cific custom fit-out that in­cludes space for two large trans­port cots, seat­ing for both med­i­cal and nurs­ing staff and room for ad­di­tional spe­cial­ist equip­ment and med­i­ca­tions.

“It is also im­por­tant for the team to have a full and clear view of the baby dur­ing trans­port in or­der to closely ob­serve and at­tend to them with­out hav­ing to stop the ve­hi­cle.”

Ms McDon­ald said the neona­tal unit at PMH could cater for up to 25 ba­bies up to six weeks old.

“We won’t know how many ba­bies we will need to trans­port to Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal un­til the day of the big move,” she said.

“We may have a full ward on the day, which means trans­port­ing quite a few ba­bies with vary­ing de­grees of care re­quired.

“Some of our ba­bies will be very sta­ble and some will re­quire more com­plex care.

“But our staff are used to sta­bil­is­ing and trans­fer­ring sick neonates ev­ery day and our aim is to move all the ba­bies on June 10. Safety will be the num­ber 1 pri­or­ity.”

Ms McDon­ald said ahead of the move they would li­aise with ob­stet­rics staff at ma­jor hos­pi­tals and ramp down ad­mis­sions for booked surg­eries. “It may be nec­es­sary to resched­ule cae­sarean sec­tions, but again the safety of mums and their baby will be para­mount,” she said.

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d482554

Am­bu­lance trans­port of­fi­cer Ar­ron Jones and clin­i­cal nurse con­sul­tant Kylie McDon­ald with seven-day-old Eli­jah Zera.

In­set: Natasha Zera with her son Eli­jah.

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