Ark. hospital debuts ambulance for mothers with high-risk pregnancies

The specialized ambulance aims to quickly transport expectant mothers to Level III NICU and is staffed with a multidisciplinary medical team


By Laura French

JOHNSON, Ark. —  A hospital in Arkansas has debuted a new ambulance designed specifically to transport expectant mothers with pregnancy complications.

The Maternal-Fetal Transport Service ambulance at Willow Creek Women’s Hospital (WCWH) transports mothers to the hospital’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine department and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where women can receive treatment for pregnancy complications and their babies can receive specialized care, according to a hospital news release.

“Women who are experiencing complications during pregnancy may require rapid medical care. It’s our goal to provide the highest level of specialty care for mother or baby in need,” said WCWH Chief Administrative Officer Juli McWhorter.

The ambulance is available 24/7 to transport women experiencing maternal medical emergencies such as diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, rupture of membranes and preterm labor.

The ambulance is staffed with a multidisciplinary team including a nurse specializing in maternal-fetal medicine, a respiratory therapist and an EMT, and a communications system provides real-time contact with other specialists, such as neonatologists and obstetricians.

According to WCWH, the Maternal-Fetal Transport Service is the only service of its kind in Northwest Arkansas.

“It is a fact that premature babies do best at the hospital where they are born. It is important for a pregnant patient to be transferred to a hospital with an advanced level of neonatal care before the infant’s birth,” said Dr. Bernard Canzoneri. “This service will provide quick management of problems or complications during pregnancy which will result in better outcomes for both the pregnant mother and her baby.

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