Specialist transport service support to evacuate babies in areas affected by Hurricane Ian
Neonatal babies in intensive care in Florida will be assisted by the Oklahoma Children's Hospital evacuation team
Three members of the neonatal evacuation team from Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU flew to Florida to evacuate critically ill and premature babies from areas devastated by Hurricane Ian. Jamie Lewis, Chelsea Watson and Kaylun Peters offer the specialist skills required for the evacuation.
“With one of only a few neonatal care flight teams in the country, we have a rare skill set needed to evacuate critically ill and premature babies out of the hurricane zone and to safe hospital surroundings,” said Andrew Gormley, M.D., Medical Director of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Critical Care Transport.
Reportedly, 75 babies require transportation to other hospitals to receive continued treatment.
“We feel very fortunate to possess the skills needed to help these babies in their time of need. When we received the call to help, it was never a question of if we were going. It was how fast can we safely get there to get to work evacuating the babies in need,” explained Peters.
Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction across the Caribbean, Cuba and southeastern states of the US. Fort Myers in Florida, where the evacuation team traveled to, is near to where the hurricane made landfall.
“The impact of Hurricane Ian has been devastating for Florida. As Oklahomans, we have been through natural disasters and seen first responders from across the country come to our aid. It is our honour to head to Florida and help these patients and families,” said Gormley.
The need for neonatal transport has increased in the US and internationally, especially post-pandemic, because not every hospital has a neonatologist on call.