WVU Medicine Children’s needs your help to give critical care when children need it most

West Virginia Headlines
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December 25 2021 12:00 am

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. Their child needs specialty care, but help is hours away. 

In that time of worry comes the WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team. 

When a child needs help, they get them to the hospital on the ground or in the air, no matter where their home is. 

Right out of the womb to 16-years-old, 18-years-old.

Cathy Richards, Nurse Manager, WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team

No matter how small, or how sick, a child in need will see the friendly faces of the WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team as they’re taken to Morgantown or other hospitals within the health system.

I want to be one of the first ones they see to help them.

Danielle Benson, Respiratory Clinical Specialist, WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team

We want to be able to do everything we can for them, to make sure everything is smooth and runs without any issues. The better the equipment we have, the better off that goes. It just makes it easier on the staff as well as the patients. 

Dawn Haught, RN, WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team

So far this year, the team made sure more than 520 children have access to the care they need, driving them for miles across the Mountain State and surrounding areas, or caring for them high in the skies on a helicopter. 

Transport statistics courtesy of the WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team

More than 100 of those patients this year are from right here in the Ohio Valley. 

The number grows each year as methods change and equipment is upgraded, which is why the WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team is in constant need of support. 

We have ventilators that we can ventilate the children. We have all the special equipment for monitoring, giving them the most state-of-the art equipment that we can provide for them.

Cathy Richards, Nurse Manager, WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team

Including a special state-of-the-art machine for the tiniest patients who have trauma at birth an need cooled down to receive care, which was funded thanks to donations from the annual WVU Medicine Children’s Gala. 

We used to have to wait until we got to the hospital at Ruby to start this therapy, but based on the fundraising and the money that was raised at one of the galas, we were able to purchase that. So, we start that equipment and that therapy as soon as we get here to this area.

Cathy Richards, Nurse Manager, WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team

Those galas also helped purchase helmets and flight suits for the transport team, which are a must for their safety. Funds are also used for specialized training, so the team can care for neonatal, pediatric and even adult patients if necessary.

Recent fundraisers were canceled, but the team still has dire needs. 

COVID changed so many things about medicine. So, the transport team had to re-evaluate everything right down to the bags they use. 

We didn’t really think at that time about at that particular time the material that the previous bags are made of and so they’re not easy to wipe down and clean between patients.

Cathy Richards, Nurse Manager, WVU Medicine Children’s Transport Team

Something that seems simple but is responsible for carrying everything needed to bring life-saving care. 

Since the WVU Medicine Children’s Gala held here in the Ohio Valley was canceled the last two years the transport team was unable to fund some of its equipment needs. 

They’re asking the community to help, so they can continue to assist all of you. 

If you’d like to give a donation, click here.

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