Vt. hospital adds ICU on wheels - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. hospital adds ICU on wheels

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Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington has added another high-tech vehicle to its interhospital transport fleet. It's an ICU on wheels.

The rig cost just over $300,000. It carries the most fragile patients in our region from smaller, community-based hospitals to Fletcher Allen, the state's only Level I trauma center offering more advanced medicine.

A nurse, a paramedic and another EMT are always on board. And unlike 911 ambulances, patients can receive certain medications such as insulin or blood products, ventilator care, and IV pump and monitoring care.

Hospital officials say the critical care vehicles are important in a rural state like Vermont and can often travel the state's roadways when weather keeps medical helicopters on the ground.

"A lot of times we're going to those smaller hospitals that have done everything that they are capable of doing and the patient needs a little bit higher level of care that Fletcher Allen offers, so we go to those hospitals. We bring these patients back here. All of them are going up to our ICUs. We pick up the pediatric patients and we're also the team that brings our NICU team out to hospitals to pick up the little bitty babies," said Patti Wolff of Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Each trip takes a minimum of two hours, with the Fletcher Allen team traveling around Vermont and to upstate New York, Boston, New York City, even Philadelphia. They average 100 transports each month.

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