Neonatal Transport

The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital transport team specializes in the stabilization and safe transfer of the most critically ill neonates in the state. We provide the highest level of neonatal transport care available.

Need Transport?

Call 1-855-984-4692 for 24/7 access to an attending NICU physician and begin the transfer process.

The transport program is a collaboration between subspecialty physicians with content expertise in the advanced care and transport of critically ill newborns and the infrastructure that has been built to a high-level of efficiency by the AirCare program. 

Whether you have a question or a request for transfer, our program is available to assist. Call 1-855-984-4692 for 24/7 access to the expertise of:

  • Neonatologists
  • Neonatal fellows
  • Nursing leadership 
  • Transport team
  • Subspecialty physicians
  • Maternal-fetal medicine physicians

Following in utero transfer, which is preferred if safe for mother and fetus, neonatal care provided by subspecialty teams has been shown to improve intact neonatal survival. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends transport by a dedicated pediatric specialty care team that has the skills and knowledge to function as a mobile intensive care unit.

Our team is trained in providing that advanced level of care to highly vulnerable term and pre-term babies. Every transport call is reviewed for quality improvement and case-based or didactic education is conducted daily by a dedicated transport attending neonatologist and team. We do this to ensure that our transport team has the highest level of education and cognitive proficiency. The team also undergoes regular simulation-based and hands-on skills training to enhance the quality of the services we provide to our community.

Iowa’s only Level IV dedicated neonatal transport team with comprehensive hemodynamics and neuro intensive care support

Our team is trained in the careful management of every detail during neonatal transport, including:

  • Extensive stabilization before transport: Protocols and standards for golden-hour care of extremely preterm infants
  • Advanced breathing support: Formal, standardized training curriculum and maintenance of competency for airway skills for all team members; inhaled nitric oxide and high frequency ventilation capability
  • Expert IV placement: Experienced in UVC placement with regular maintenance of competency conducted under the direct supervision of Neonatal Attending physicians in the NICU
  • Servo-controlled therapeutic hypothermia: Our transport team is the only Iowa team with an active cooling on transport program, enabling us to safely institute therapeutic hypothermia at your institution to minimize delays in treatment initiation and potentially positively modulate neurological outcomes.
  • Onsite assessment and team attendance at delivery: When the fetus is either very unstable or extremely premature and maternal transfer is not possible, our team is mobilized to await the delivery, provide stabilization advice, and help facilitate maternal transfer to UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
  • Subspecialist consultation: Our team is able to facilitate consultation with subspecialists either over the phone or by providing a one-stop shop for transfers requiring in-person assessment by our broader pediatrics and surgical departments. This will help you cut out the administrative time of waiting for return calls and telling your story many times to arrange a bed.

Iowa's most advanced NICU

The NICU at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital is one of the most renowned in the nation.

  • Our NICU has significantly higher survival rates than other hospitals in the Midwest for babies born at 22, 23, 24, and 25 weeks and the highest survival rate for babies born before 23 weeks in North America
  • We have one of the largest programs in the country, with 20 fellowship-trained neonatologists.
  • Our NICU features Iowa’s only Neonatal Hemodynamics Program and the largest program of its kind in the world. Our dedicated neonatal cardiovascular care team includes five neonatologists with advanced training in hemodynamics and echocardiography. We perform more than 1,000 consults per year to guide therapy with real-time physiological information about heart function, pulmonary and systemic blood flow, and shunt physiology. Access to this physiological detail and serial (up to hourly if needed) re-evaluation allows customization of ICU care.
  • We’re home to Iowa’s only Neonatal Neurocritical Care Program, which focuses on sophisticated assessment and treatment of disease of the newborn brain by two specially trained neonatologists in collaboration with our pediatric neurology, neurosurgery, and neuroradiology teams.
  • We are Iowa’s only Level 4 NICU, as designated by the American Academy of Pediatrics—which means we provide the most advanced level of care available in any NICU in the state.