New pediatric/neonatal medical team now based in Northeast Missouri
PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -
Every second counts when a child is in critical condition, but before last week the options for specialized pediatric and neonatal care were limited in the Tri-States.
When newborns are critically ill, they're often taken to St. Louis hospitals for more specialized care.
"Before what we would have to do is rely on the transport team that would come all the way from St. Louis to pick up the patient or we would use one of our local Marion County crews to care for a patient en route to St. Louis," Marion County Ambulance Services Medical Director Dr. Chris Solaro said.
Now because of a collaboration with SSM Cardinal Glennon Medical Center in St. Louis, nurses and paramedics who are specialized in pediatric and neonatal medicine will be stationed in Hannibal around the clock on rotating shifts.
The two-person team started 24-hour, seven-day-a-week services in Marion County last week based at the ambulance district in Hannibal.
Erin Nichols of Cardinal Glennon says the addition of these teams here will mean quicker response times for the most vulnerable patients.
"We can be anywhere around this area like Hannibal Regional Medical Center or Blessing Hospital in 30 minutes and that's critical because we have the equipment to transport that patient to a higher level of care," Nichols said.
Nichols says unlike some local medical staff, these teams will have specialized training in younger patients and can treat them until a helicopter from St. Louis comes or at a local hospital depending on the needs of the child.
The team has already assisted with one baby since it started a week ago and officials said it was successful.