The neonatal transport service at Community Regional Medical Center provides ground or air transportation for critically ill and premature newborns who need the specialized services only a Level 3 (highest level) neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can provide.

Neonatal transport is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and covers a region that spans 5 counties.

Our Transport Team

A registered nurse, respiratory care practitioner, and neonatal nurse practitioner or neonatologist make up Community Regional’s NICU transport team.

The transport team will respond to the referring hospital, work to assess and stabilize the baby’s condition, then transport the baby to Community Regional.

Once the baby is stabilized, the baby is transported in a special mobile intensive care transport ambulance, helicopter, or airplane equipped to provide safe, quick transport to Community Regional.

Modes of Transport

Critically ill newborns born within 50 miles of Community Regional are safely transported by the team in an ambulance designed especially for Community Regional.

This specialized ambulance is larger than a standard ambulance, equipped with an advanced air suspension system to give fragile newborns the smoothest ride possible, and outfitted with intensive care medical machinery — basically making it a moving NICU.

When faster transport over a larger geographic region is required, helicopter or fixed-wing (airplane) can be used to bring newborns to Community Regional. Distance and clinical criteria will help determine the use of helicopter or airplane transport.

When faster transport over a larger geographic region is required, helicopter transport is used to bring newborns to Community Regional. Use of a fixed-wing airplane for transport also is used and depends on strict clinical criteria.

Arriving at our NICU

Upon arrival at Community Regional, newborns are transferred to our Level 3 NICU for expert care by our highly trained team of neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians, social workers, physical therapists, NICU pharmacists and many other specialized professionals.

Our rating as a Level 3 NICU means we are licensed by the State of California to offer round-the-clock care for some of the sickest infants.