Fort Worth, Texas,
11:29 AM

Critically Ill Babies Arrive at Cook Children’s in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Transport team delivers patients to NICU

Critically ill babies arrived at Cook Children’s Level IV NICU on Aug. 24, 2017, after being transported throughout the evening and early morning as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

All 10 babies arrived from the NICU at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, through a transportation effort that involved four planes from three different hospitals – Cook Children’s Teddy Bear Transport, Driscoll Children’s and two aircraft from Children’s Health in Dallas.

The babies were transported back-and-forth throughout the night. It took about 18 hours from the time of the initial phone call from Driscoll to when the last babies arrived at Cook Children’s at 6:30 a.m. Friday.

Once the parents arrive they will be in a private room with their baby. Level IV is the highest ranking a NICU can receive, meeting stringent requirements, especially in the areas of advanced medicine and quality of care.

“We are so honored and privileged that Driscoll Children’s trusted us to care for their precious patients. This was an act of remarkable teamwork between Cook Children’s, Children’s Health and Driscoll Children’s Hospital, all in an effort to care for these vulnerable patients and get them out of harm’s way of the hurricane,” said Nancy Cychol, Chief of Hospital Services at Cook Children’s. “These are critically ill babies. The Transport teams continued the excellent care they were receiving in Corpus Christi and now are settled in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”

Because of the complex nature of the patients and the equipment and staff needed in the planes, parents could not travel with their babies and had to arrange their own transportation.

“Because of the extraordinary nature of the hurricane and the transport teams working together, these babies arrived in a dramatic way to our NICU,” said Sheralyn Hartline, RN, director of the NICU at Cook Children’s. “But now that they are here, our NICU staff is very much in their comfort zone of taking care of these babies. This is normal for our team. Our physicians, nurses and everyone who works in the NICU are all prepared and trained for occasions exactly like this one. Every day, they are treating the sickest children with the most difficult and complex diagnoses.”

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About Cook Children's NICU

Neonatology is an in-hospital subspecialty of pediatrics that focuses solely on the care and treatment of critically ill newborns and babies that are born prematurely. Our neonatologists and Level IV Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are ranked among the best in the nation for care that combines the most advanced treatments with heartfelt compassion. Click here to learn more.

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Thank you to all involved for taking such great care of such precious cargo.