A New Lifeline Ambulance
Help us purchase a new Lifeline ambulance.
Children's Hospital's Lifeline ambulances are custom-made neonatal/pediatric
transport vehicles equipped like mobile intensive care units in order
to bring in premature babies and other pediatric patients from hospitals
in surrounding areas. Enough supplies are on the ambulance that any size
patient, from a premature infant to a 21-year-old, can be cared for upon
transfer to the Children's Hospital NICU or PICU. Lifeline answers
more than 365 calls each year.
The current Lifeline ambulance has 188,000 miles, and the average life
of an ambulance is 200,000 miles. Help us purchase a new Lifeline for
our patients in the East Tennessee area.
Instead of rushing a patient to the hospital, the hospital is sent to the patient.
Level of Care
- Lifeline transports the smallest babies (weighing as little as a pound)
to teenagers and young adults. Children’s Hospital treats birth
to age 21. Lifeline carries equipment to treat all ages and all sizes.
- The Lifeline team is highly skilled. The team consists of an EMT/paramedic
as the driver. In the back, there is always a specially trained transport
nurse and a respiratory therapist. Depending on the severity of the patient,
doctors, nurse practitioners, and more nurses may join the team.
- This is the only ambulance in the area that can transport twins or two
babies at once. In this case, another nurse and respiratory therapist
join the team, making a total of five highly-trained caregivers on-board
if not more.
- Just like in an intensive care unit, there are backup systems in place
should the need arise. Lifeline has its own generator, oxygen tanks, suction,
and other monitoring systems required for life support.
- Lifeline is more child-friendly than routine ambulances. For older patients,
they have an iPad and the ability to play movies during longer transports.
- Lifeline is capable of ventilator/life support, giving IV fluids, drawing
blood for lab work to reduce wait time once a patient arrives at Children’s
Hospital, monitoring capabilities, total body cooling and more.
- The transport service at Children’s Hospital began in 1980 with the
first Lifeline ambulance; there have been four ambulances since then,
making this new purchase Lifeline 5.
- The Lifeline ambulance in service now was purchased in 2011 for $248,000;
the average ambulance cost approximately $80,000. Lifeline—a custom,
critical-care ambulance—is three times more expensive than what
a normal ambulance costs.
- Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Knoxville (and within
100 miles) to have an ambulance of this caliber.
- At any given time, there are two transport teams at-the-ready at Children’s
Hospital. The team that goes depends on the age of the patient. Children’s
Hospital has a team for neonatal babies and a team for pediatric patients
- Lifeline is designed specifically for babies and children, and it provides
the space and electrical outlets needed for all of the specialized equipment
needed for these patients.
- The new ambulance will feature a new safety mechanism that will increase
the stabilization of the cot carrying the patient during transport.
- The new Lifeline will be a custom ambulance with Children’s Hospital’s
specifications; it will take up to six-months to build.