News

Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital Pediatric Transport Team Transports 1,000th Patient

01/26/2018

Life-saving care provided across state and beyond for five years

An amazing team of pediatric specialists who travel across the state and even throughout the United States to transport sick and injured children to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital recently reached a major milestone in its history. The Pediatric Transport Team transported its 1,000th patient, a number that represents life-saving care across great distances in just five years.

“It’s incredible to think of the lives our Transport Team has impacted in the span of only five years,” said Shaun Kemmerly, MD, chief medical officer of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. “Transporting 1,000 patients is exceptionally meaningful because that’s 1,000 patients who may not have had access to the appropriate level of care they needed without that service. Our Transport Team should be commended and celebrated for this tremendous accomplishment.”

Pediatric Transport TeramThe Transport Team travels from Baton Rouge to any part of the state to carry patients who are in need of a higher level of care. Depending on the distance, they travel by ambulance, helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft to make sure children can receive the critical care they need in an emergency situation.

The team consists of more than 20 specially trained pediatric intensive care nurses and respiratory therapists. They work under the guidance and direction of in-house pediatric critical care physicians.

“The outlying facility doctor who wants to send a patient via transport will call the pediatric transport phone, which is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Kristin Bassett, RN, pediatric transport team nurse. “The transport team mobilizes and we patch in the ER doctor or ICU physician to begin caring for the patient.”

“The next step is calling our partners at Acadian Ambulance and they provide us with the proper ambulance or air craft depending on how far we have to go,” explained Jeffrey Peno, RN, pediatric critical care transport coordinator.

The Transport Team uses specialized equipment originally designed for the U.S. Army to serve as a lifeline for children needing critical care services not available in their own communities. Team members wear specialized flight suits to distinguish themselves and to enhance safety and quality of patient care.

As soon as patients arrive at a referring hospital, they are stabilized and readied for transport. Upon arrival at the hospital, patients are brought to the Emergency Department or Pediatric ICU, where treatment continues.

“We feel like we have truly made an impact on children across the state,” said Dr. Kemmerly. “We’re able to take in critically ill children and begin their treatment before they even arrive, and then transport them here safely to get the special pediatric ICU care that they need.”

“It’s a very special position to be in, and not something everyone is comfortable doing,” said Bassett. “You’re theoretically risking your life every time you go up in a helicopter to save someone else’s life. But when you think about how someone else’s life is better because of it, it’s very rewarding and something I’m proud to do.”

For more information on the Pediatric Transport Team at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, visit ololchildrens.org/pediatric-transport-team.

About Our Lady of the Lake

Our Lady of the Lake is a not-for-profit 800-bed medical center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with more than 7,100 employees committed to building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With a Regional Medical Center, dedicated Children’s Hospital, two freestanding emergency rooms, and a 450-provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, minimally-invasive procedures and more. In 2016, Our Lady of the Lake was one of three hospitals recognized by the American Hospital Association with the Quest for Quality Prize award.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The hospital is the only healthcare provider in the Baton Rouge area that provides a full range of pediatric services ranging from a 24/7 pediatric emergency room to a team of more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists. For more information, visit www.ololchildrens.org.

The new freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is currently under construction and is set to open in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit www.letsbuildamazing.com.

About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated and child-focused statewide health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus in Baton Rouge and the future freestanding hospital, as well as in Monroe with St. Francis Pediatrics. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends the vital work happening at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home.

About the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is one the largest healthcare systems in Louisiana and is the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. The health system is a non-profit, Catholic organization sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we serve patients statewide through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated systems. Our five hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales and Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa. For more information, visit www.fmolhs.org.

About Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

With more than 450 healthcare providers throughout more than 70 locations, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of doctors specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems.

About St. Elizabeth Physicians

St. Elizabeth Physicians is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in Ascension Parish, employing over 50 primary care physicians, specialists and providers. St. Elizabeth Physicians has been recognized for quality by the Louisiana Quality Foundation, and as the Large Business of the Year twice by the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital website.

About St. Francis Medical Center

From a modest beginning in July 1913 as a three-story red brick building with 75 patient beds, St. Francis Medical Center has grown to become Northeast Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider and one of the largest employers in Ouachita Parish. Today, St. Francis Medical Center is licensed for 367 beds, employs over 1,700 team members and partners with over 300 medical staff members. Our mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to those most in need reaches out to 17 parishes in Louisiana and three counties in Arkansas, an area with a population exceeding 515,000 people. St. Francis Medical Center is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. For more information, visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.

About St. Francis Medical Group

With over 50 healthcare providers at 16 clinic locations, St. Francis Medical Group is one of the area’s largest physician networks and is backed by the resources of St. Francis Medical Center. In addition to primary care, this experienced group of providers specializes in diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and complex medical problems. For more information visit the St. Francis Medical Center website.