Neonatal and Paediatric Transfers

Sep 30, 2023
3 mins read
air ambulance for children

Air Ambulances for Children and Infants

Sick children and infants need highly specialised care if they have to be transferred via flights back to their home countries, or to hospitals in foreign countries, for medical treatment. With our well-trained neonatal/ paediatric air-medical teams and advanced equipment, Bluedot has carried out several such missions successfully, around the world, with patients ranging from newborns to five-year-olds with critical care needs.

Successful Child Transfer Missions

Consider the case of 2-year-old Saif, the infant son of an expatriate in a Middle Eastern country,  who was proclaimed ‘dying’ after suffering from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency or SCID, a rare genetic disorder. With recurrent infections soon after birth, he had a low chance of survival and was recommended a bone marrow transplant as the only option to save his life.

However, as no hospitals in his host or home country could help with viably carrying out the complex transplant, he had to be air transferred for over three hours to India for the procedure and recovery. Bluedot Air Ambulance safely transferred the infant all the way to the hosting hospital, deploying leading aeromedical physicians and nurses, and advanced critical care equipment on this mission.

Other recent child transfer missions by Bluedot have met challenges ranging from emergency organ transplants to over-13-hour flight delays between countries. All of these were overcome successfully with meticulous planning, thorough training, and true commitment. As our medical director, Dr. Mohd. Afsal notes, the challenges are more acute when the patient is a child.

Ensuring Neonatologists and Special Equipment

Our neonatal or paediatric missions always deploy a well-trained neonatologist and a specialised intensive care flight nurse/ paramedic trained in Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS). For less critical cases, a Medical Escort service may be requested, so that the child and its parent may be accompanied by a trained physician or nurse who can help attend to the patient’s needs even as regular passengers on flights.

FAA-approved stretchers on commercial flights are an economical alternative to dedicated air ambulance flights, where children can be accompanied by their family members on regular flights, albeit with a complete air ambulance medical set-up and medical crew. This is, however, subject to assessment and approval from Bluedot’s medical director and the availability of suitable commercial flights.

On all air-borne missions, specialist NICUs or paediatric transport incubators and ventilators, besides electrical monitors for pulse, cardiac rhythm, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and body temperature, as well as a defibrillator and infusion pump, as required, are set up within the aircraft to make sure the children are protected, monitored and closely cared for. To ensure smooth operation, backup units for all essential equipment are taken on board during transport.

Flying With A Sick Child Is Better By Air Ambulance

The advantages of relying on an air ambulance service or medical escort service while flying with sick children include:

– lowered risk of infection while traveling

– specialist medical attention

– less stressful experience for the parents or caregivers

– easier planning, booking, and travel formalities

– digital medical documentation by Bluedot

– 24×7 medical assistance and support

To know more about our medical transfer services for children, or to get a quote, please contact us via phone or WhatsApp chat on: +971 551 881 441 (UAE)  or +91 974 541 00 00 (India).

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