Deputy Chair of Transport
Dr. med. Dr. MedSc Ulrich Terheggen, MPH&TM
Consultant paediatric and neonatal intensive care physician
University children's Hospital Bern | Paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) | INSELSPITAL
Peadiatrics (FMH), Intensive care (FMH), Neonatology (FMH), Simulation Instructor (Dipl- Harvard)
In the past years I have been working as paediatric and neonatal intensive care consultant in two Swiss units (Luzern and Bern), both of which conduct several hundreds neonatal retrievals per year. In adition I work as flight pyhsican for two private companies (TAA, AAA) conducting world wide crticial care retievals for adults and childen.
Previoulsy I lived 5 years in Australia where I joined the Royal Children`s Hospital Melbourne and worked in PICU and for PIPER (formerly NETS) a dedicated professional paediatric and neonatal transport serivce which operates metropolitan and state wide and performs over 1200 neonatal and over 400 peaditric retrieval missions per year with ambulance, helicopter and fix wing.
In Switzerland we aim to provide neonatal transport with best care and equipment. Transports are conducted by staff working on a PICU or NICU at the same time and we perform inter-hospital retrievals mostly. Transports are regionalised and teams operate in a relatively small geographical sector. Currently we aim to closer collaborate with other transport teams across the country and to improve inter-team communication in response to emergency referrals.
The discussion is about regionalised versus centralised transports, team members being pulled from the ICU for transports versus full time dedicated teams, low volume/case load versus high volume/case load teams. Regional interest, acceptance of a professional dedicated transport team and response times are important considerations.
Ultimately it could make sense to conduct paediatric transports with the same team – transports which are currently done by non-paediatric emergency services.
Working as part of large professional teams like PIPER and TAA has given me numerous insights and ideas which could be useful and implemented in our European settings. However, specific regional geographical and political circumstances and conditions must be considered. These considerations might be similar and of interest in many European countries.
What connects us, is that we all share a passion to provide the best possible and safe transport of sick children. Hence, it is our aim to work and collaborate with you as section members and transport doctors and nurses across Europe to build a network, collaborate, collect data, conduct studies, possibly train together and potentially establish quality metrics for high quality neonatal and paediatric transports.