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Physician Connection
A Communication Service for Physicians from CHOC and CHOC at Mission. Please Note: Physician Connection is no longer being printed and is now available electronically. Please visit our blog at http://docs.chocchildrens.org for the latest articles for our physician community. You can also receive our electronic Physician Connection newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

CHOC Leads the Region in Pediatric Transports

Just how far would the CHOC Emergency Transport Services team go to bring a critically ill child to CHOC? To date, as far as Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Arizona, Nevada, Seattle, Mexico and even Hawaii.

CHOC Emergency Transport Services is the only program in the region staffed with critical care-trained pediatric transport physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and respiratory therapists who are available at a moment's notice to go into the field and begin lifesaving treatment for infants, children and adolescents while en route to CHOC.

CHOC provides more pediatric transports than any other Southern California hospital. Last year, the transport teams brought more than 1,600 patients to CHOC. With the increasing demand for these services, that figure is expected to rise to 1,850 next year.

CHOC Emergency Transport Services was also the first program of its kind in the nation to take high-frequency ventilation on the road, a treatment initially pioneered in the CHOC intensive care units. Mobile treatment capabilities include both nitric oxide ventilation and high-frequency oscillatory ventilation. A PediPorter transport system is available for older children requiring advanced respiratory support for severe pneumonia, septic shock and other life-threatening conditions.

Additionally, the CHOC Emergency Transport Services team provides transportation to the hospital for children with less-urgent medical needs, often picking patients up from physician offices, clinics and urgent care centers.

"Not everything we do is critical care. We offer a breadth of services that encompasses six specialized levels of treatment," says Transport System Director James Cappon, M.D. "We've also been called in situations where primary care physicians were concerned whether parents would follow through in taking a child to CHOC. We are happy to assist in those situations so patients get to where they need to go."


But when patients need the highest level of critical care, the CHOC Emergency Transport Service team is up to the challenge. Each team member has at least two years of ICU experience, certification in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) and EKG, and are members of the CHOC "Code White" Team.

The Emergency Transport Service is divided into six teams led by either a critical care physician or registered nurse. When a call comes in, the team is matched to the specific patient?s needs to ensure appropriate, safe, timely and efficient care:


  • Physician-led PICU Critical Care Transport

  • Physician-led NICU Critical Care Transport

  • PICU Advanced Cardiac Life Support

  • NICU Advanced Cardiac Life Support

  • Med/Surg Advanced Cardiac Life Support/ Basic Life Support Transport

  • Basic Life Support Transport

"Studies show that severely ill and injured children have better outcomes in specialized pediatric intensive care units, so early transport and treatment can be a real advantage," Dr. Cappon says. "The sooner these life-saving therapies are initiated in the field, the sooner a child may be stabilized."


Day or night, the CHOC Emergency Transport Services team can be on its way within 30 minutes. The following treatments may be initiated while the patient is enroute to CHOC:


  • Evaluation, stabilization and transport of the critically ill child
  • Management of the neonatal and pediatric airway
  • Management of neonatal and pediatric ventilation and oxygenation requirements
  • Management of upper airway obstruction (i.e. croup, epiglotitis, foreign body obstruction)
  • Management of lower airway obstruction (asthma, bronchiolitis, cystic fibrosis)
  • Management of shock
  • Resuscitation and post-resuscitation care
  • Management of neonatal emergencies
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • Thoracentesis
  • Central venous cannulation
  • Vascular access via cutdown
  • Conventional ventilation
  • High-frequency ventilation
  • Nitric oxide
  • Cardiac procedures
  • ECMO

Air ambulance service is provided for requests more than an hour away from CHOC. To request a transport, please call CHOC Emergency Transport Services at 714-532-8530. The CHOC Emergency Transport Team also provides onsite medical office consultation and education on a variety of topics including from patient stabilization, to evaluating pediatric office equipment. The team is also available to help new medical offices set up the appropriate supplies.


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chocChildren's Hospital of Orange County | UCI University of California, Irvine

Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .