Transfer & Transport - Pediatric & Neonatal
Transfers are Auto-Accepted
We auto-accept neonates, pediatric trauma, and most other pediatric transfers.
Most facilities must verify they have the specialists available before they'll accept a patient. This results in a lot of wasted time - with long holds and/or calls back and forth required. We eliminate that step by auto-accepting all pediatric transfers. We're able to do this by having a breadth and depth of providers to where we can confidently say we'll have the required critical care physicians and/or specialists available to respond. This is primarily done via extensive call schedules of pediatric specialists.
There are very few specialties (nephrology, cardiovascular surgery, etc.) where we do not have immediate availability and it's possible we will suggest the patient be transferred to another Texas Children's hospital such as Cook or Texas Children's.
To initiate a transfer, call 844-977–KIDS (5437).
Calls will be answered by our transfer center. Trauma and most other patients will be auto-accepted and referring facilities have the option to be immediately connected to a pediatric physician specialist, a transport nurse,or a NNP, to help facilitate care during the transfer.
- Gestational age, prenatal care provided and birth weight
- Focused history and assessment findings
After you call 844-977–KIDS (5437), our trained transfer center staff will arrange the logistics. This unique service simplifies the process of transferring a patient, connecting you to the physician, hospital, and your transport team.
During transfer by ambulance, one parent rider may accompany his or her child. During helicopter transfers, parents are not able to accompany their child due to flight and safety restrictions.
Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrates transport of critically ill children to a pediatric tertiary care center can be conducted more safely with a pediatric critical care specialized team than with teams lacking specific training and expertise in pediatric critical care and pediatric transport medicine.
Covenant Children’s brings intensive care nursing and respiratory care services to the referring institution and then assumes care for the patient while in transit to Covenant Children's. The team serves children who require intensive monitoring and continuation of intensive care therapies while en-route to Covenant Children’s.
Our unique dispatch center is staffed to provide fast, courteous service to the hospitals and physicians that contact Covenant Children’s for patient referral, consultation, and transport services.
Callers to Covenant's Children's line will be connected with a physician, a transport RN, RRT, and/or a NNP.
Following the transport, a member of our Transport Team will communicate with the referring physician regarding the patient progress and outcome. After discharge, a written summary will be sent so the continuity of care can be maintained.
Our dedicated transport teams are staffed 24/7 by a registered nurse and respiratory therapist with extensive training and experience in neonatal and pediatric critical care.
To speed response times our neonatal and pediatric teams are in-house and dedicated to transport - not pulled from units. We also staff two full teams at all times and are able to respond to multiple requests form across the region simultaneously.
The transport teams are supported in real-time by the accepting physician and their medical director.
Our transport team's respiratory capabilities include high flow nasal canula, non-invasive ventilation, nasal CPAP, and inhaled nitric oxide.
Team members are dedicated to ambulance and flight safety, as well as educated in advanced practice skills.
- Advanced airway management, including intubations
- High frequency ventilation
- Inhaled Nitric Oxide (INO)
- ECMO evaluations
- High-risk deliveries and neonatal resuscitation
- UAC/UVC placement
- Active total body cooling
Certifications including BLS, PALS, NRP, and STABLE are required of neonatal flight team members.
- Advanced airway management, including intubations
- Advanced respiratory support
- Needle thoracostomy
- IO placement
- ECMO evaluations
- Initiation and management of inotropes
Certifications including BLS, PALS, ACLS, TNCC, ENPC, NRP and STABLE are required of the pediatric flight team members.
Covenant Children's is redefining what quality pediatric care means in the region - particularly when it comes to transport.
Covenant Children's has a dedicated Airbus EC-135 helicopter that began service in March 2022. This nearly $4M piece of equipment allows Covenant Children's to immediately respond to the needs our newborns and pediatric patients in the region.
While we have provided air transport for years, our dedicated helicopter ensures there's always immediate availability of a helicopter, pilot, and transport team and that in most cases Covenant Children's is the fastest to be able to get to a patient. Part of this is the helicopter itself being dedicated to our neonatal and pediatric transport needs but it's also a function of having 2 in-house dedicated transport teams available 24/7.
Furthermore, our helicopter is larger than most other medical transport helicopters in the region, which supports our neonatal and pediatric specialty transport teams that provide neonatal and pediatric expertise from the moment they're dispatched to when the patient arrives in our facility. The helicopter's larger size also accommodates specialty equipment such as isolates for newborns.
- 300+ mile range
- Max speed of 135 knots (155 mph)
- Rate of climb of 1,500 feet/minute
- Accommodates pilot + 3 crew members (including our neonatal and pediatric specialty transport teams), a patient (up to 300lbs), and an Advanced Practice Provider or Physician
Estimated flights times are from time of takeoff. Factors such as adverse weather, transport teams already being deployed, etc. can impact actual flight times.
In 2020 Covenant purchased the first dedicated neonatal and pediatric ambulance in our region to help transport newborns and pediatric patients from outlaying facilities. Beyond it just being a dedicated ambulance, the purchase and operation of the ambulance coincided with offering the region's first and only pediatric specialty transport team. While our neonatal transport team had operated for numerous years, the addition of the pediatric specialty transport team truly elevates care by ensuring children receive the kid-focused care they deserve.
- Accommodates 2 patients/2 full stretcher systems & 2 transport teams
- Allows a family member to ride in the front of the cab
- Allows neonatal and pediatric specialty transport teams to assume care of the patient from outlying facilities - accommodating up to 5 providers simultaneously
- Built in medical air compressor and generator to support neonates
- Two tank oxygen system, in addition to a liquid oxygen system, supporting long range transports
Covenant is proud to continue to partner with AeroCare/GMR to operate transport services and to provide additional access to ambulances, helicopters, as well as fixed-wing aircraft.
Please share your recent transfer experience(s). We value your feedback and the information you provide allows us to take action to improve our processes - with the goal of making it easier for you to get your patients the care they need.
Please note that Microsoft Forms is HIPAA compliant and we encourage you sharing as much information as possible as it can help us address any issues you may have encountered.