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Lifeline Ambulance

A New Lifeline Ambulance

Help us purchase a new Lifeline ambulance.

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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.

Lifeline Facts

  • 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 available 24/7.
  • 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.