TEMPLE, Texas — Baylor Scott & White Health announced that it has launched the system’s first Central Texas maternal transport team with the goal of offering transportation for expectant mothers and their babies.
Baylor Scott & White maternal nurses staff the team, which includes pilots, paramedics and EMTs who will facilitate transfers of high-risk obstetrics patients via air and ground from hospitals throughout the region.
The maternal transport team begins service today, May 17, transporting patients to and from facilities inside and outside of the Baylor Scott & White Health system.
The team will serve Central Texas bordered by San Antonio, Brenham and the Hill Country. The maternal transport team will facilitate patient transfers via dedicated transports. Coverage will be offered 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, at launch, and will eventually expand to provide the service seven days a week.
Mothers and babies who require a high level of care may be transferred to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple, which recently became the first hospital in Central Texas designated at the highest level by the State of Texas for both maternity care and neonatal intensive care (NICU), earning Level IV designations for each.
“As our maternal patients have increased complex medical conditions, they need a higher level of care,” Jessica Clay Ehrig, M.D., a maternal fetal medicine specialist on the medical staff of Baylor Scott & White – Temple, said. "Now, with the addition of a maternal transport team, we can work directly with our community providers to further elevate care in our region.”
Expectant mothers at high risk for complications may need a higher level of care before and after delivery, especially those with health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
A transfer of an expectant mother may also be recommended if her provider determines that the baby will need Level IV NICU care upon delivery because of pre-term deliveries, birth defects or other medical conditions. This approach also allows the mother and child to stay together in the same facility after delivery, where either or both could receive intensive care or other specialty care.
“Maternal transport is an asset to all families in the Central Texas region to have this immediate, life-saving access to the most appropriate level of care for their specific needs,” Glenn R. LeBlanc, MSN, RN, regional director of operations for emergency medical services for Baylor Scott & White Health, said.
Through the maternal transport program, Baylor Scott & White Health is able to provide support to healthcare facilities throughout the region with the goal of improving maternal care outcomes.
“We have the opportunity to be with these moms through one of their biggest days of their lives. When we take care of mom and baby, we’re going to make it a better experience,” Dr. Ehrig said. “Our goal is a healthy mom and a healthy baby, and that’s where having the full complement and scope of care with maternal transport comes together.”