Kan. hospital partners with air ambulance service to increase pediatric ALS

The pediatric patient transfer agreement with EagleMed and LifeSave Transport should improve patient outcomes and quality of care


By Jerry Siebenmark
Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — Wesley Healthcare and the area's two air ambulance services are partnering to provide increased training for medical crews transporting critically ill children.

The pediatric patient transfer agreement with EagleMed and LifeSave Transport should improve patient outcomes and quality of care, Wesley said in a news release Wednesday.

Wesley Healthcare and the area's two air ambulance services are partnering to provide increased training for medical crews transporting critically ill children. (Photo/LifeSave Transport)
Wesley Healthcare and the area's two air ambulance services are partnering to provide increased training for medical crews transporting critically ill children. (Photo/LifeSave Transport)

Wesley Healthcare physicians will provide advanced training and certification in pediatric fundamental critical care support to registered nurses and paramedics from the two air ambulance services.

"In discussing this idea with our air transport companies over a year ago, they were eager to collaborate," James Stepien, Wesley Healthcare's vice president of business development, said in the release. "They appreciate the chance to train next to our pediatric intensive care team, strengthening that relationship and ultimately raising the level of care for pediatric transfers."

The agreement also calls for the air ambulance crews to annually do 12-hour shifts in Wesley Children's Hospital ER and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, working alongside doctors and critical care nurses.

"The more we train together, the better both care teams in the critical care equation understand each other's capabilities, which ultimately leads to better patient care outcomes," said Frank Williams, LifeSave's clinical director of operations.

Wesley's goal is to have at least one air ambulance medical crew member with the training and certification on each pediatric transport to Wesley Children's Hospital.

Williams said LifeSave's goal is to eventually have every one of its flight nurses and paramedics P-FCCS certified.

"I'm hoping—this is more long term—we can incorporate this for every one of our crew members," said Williams, who's also a registered nurse and paramedic.

He said the training, including preparation and testing, is about 60 hours long. He said the P-FCCS certification is the next level of training for LifeSave's medical crews, who when they join the company already have a minimum of three years of critical care experience and carry other training credentials such as pediatric advanced life support.

The cost of the training, which Wesley said is $150 per person, is shared between Wesley and the air ambulance services.

"The benefit to us is we're able to translate that level of care from the bedside to the rural... communities that we serve," Williams said.

LifeSave has eight helicopter and/or airplane bases in Kansas, the majority of them in the western part of the state. It also has aircraft bases in McCook and Hastings, Neb. Crews from those bases will also receive the training.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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