Neonatal transport in the Top End looking bright
The Royal Darwin Hospital’s new neonatal transport team and the transport team from the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne have collaborated to save the life of a critically ill baby from the Top End.
‘Baby Davey’ developed severe lung problems during birth and required transfer to the RCH in Melbourne for emergency treatment. Thanks to the Top End Health Service’s (TEHS) new transport service and its new transport incubator, donated by the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, baby Davey could make this life-saving journey.
The new transport incubator has capacity to provide high frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) which baby Davey required. Until now, no medical team in Australia has attempted a trip as far as Darwin to Melbourne with such a complex, critically ill baby requiring HFOV before.
To prepare for this, baby Davey’s transport was meticulously planned for three days with constant liaison between RDH, the RCH and the family. Through hard work and incredible effort, baby Davey remained stable throughout the flight to Melbourne and arrived safely at the Royal Children's Hospital. Since then, he has made a phenomenal recovery and has returned to Darwin’s RDH to complete his treatment before heading home to Nhulunbuy.
Dr Louise Woodward, Paediatrician at Royal Darwin Hospital said the return mission back to Darwin was a huge milestone for the Top End Health Service and for neonatal transport in Australia.
“The collaboration between two hospitals at opposite ends of the country has resulted in the achievement of a ground-breaking feat that would have been impossible only six months ago,” she said.
“As a result of that hard work, baby Davey was able to receive life-saving treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and is now expected to make a full recovery.
"We are so proud to be bringing him home to his family.”
Neonatal transport in the Top End is looking very bright, which gives fresh hope for parents of critically ill NT babies requiring life-saving treatment interstate.