July 12, 2006
Joshua Robinson meets with pediatric cardiologist Jane Crosson, M.D., for a check-up.
On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, 5-year-old Joshua Robinson went into sudden cardiac arrest in Peninsula Regional Medical Center. ED docs shocked his heart back into action and the hospital’s adult cardiologist called Johns Hopkins Children’s Center’s Pediatric Transport Service. Maryland’s designated shock trauma service for children. At the Children’s Center, the pediatric shock trauma center for the state of Maryland, pediatric intensivist Jamie Schwartz took the call.
“What he needed was the specialized pediatric services he didn’t have,” says Schwartz. She guided Peninsula ED physicians through the intricacies of pediatric critical care as she awaited the helicopter that would take her and a transport team to Joshua. “They were doing everything right, but urgently needed our expertise.”
The Pediatric Transport Service travels by helicopter or ambulance at a moment’s notice, with an experienced team of paramedics, and frequently (as in Joshua’s case) a Children’s Center physician or nurse, to help triage, stabilize and transport critically ill children from regional and community hospitals to Hopkins. The team delivers approximately 160 children to the Children’s Center every month; 80 percent of the children go to the pediatric emergency room or one of the pediatric units; 20 percent go directly to the PICU.
“We have many more requests,” says team coordinator Elizabeth Berg, “but we have a limited number of beds and are so often full.”
Other transport programs include the Maryland Regional Neonatal Transport Program, a partnership between Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the University of Maryland’s Hospital for Children, which provides free transport 24/7 for critically ill newborns to the neonatal intensive care unit at Hopkins or Maryland, depending on the child’s needs.
Johns Hopkins also provides transportation for children of all ages who are ill but not in imminent danger. The Johns Hopkins Ground and Air Medical Transportation Services—Lifeline for short—matches patients’ transport needs with their clinical conditions. It coordinates every detail and can arrange transportation from doctors’ offices, as well as from regional or community hospitals. All it takes is a physician’s call to the Hopkins Access Line (HAL), the 24/7 physician-to-physician referral service.
In Salisbury, the Hopkins team, with Peninsula’s, restored a weak heartbeat in Joshua and flew him back to the Children’s Center. Today, he is in good health.