Maternal Transport Program
The mission of the maternal transport program is to provide the most advanced inpatient care to high-risk pregnant mothers in the South Eastern Virginia and Northern North Carolina regions.
The transport program is staffed by eight Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists with extensive experience in the management of high risk obstetrical complications such as premature rupture of the membranes, premature labor and preeclampsia.
The two facilities where inpatient care is provided for high risk patients (Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital) have immediate access to sophisticated neonatal intensive care units which are staffed by neonatologists specializing in the care of babies born prematurely or with complex medical problems (often identified antenatally) such as e.g. cardiac disease, abdominal wall defects, etc.
Ample support staff including nurses, educators, nutritionists, case managers, bereavement counselors and social workers who are especially trained to assist in caring for complicated pregnancies in a compassionate and caring environment.
About 500 to 600 pregnant mothers with high risk complications are transported annually to the tertiary care hospitals via ambulances or helicopter transport from other medical facilities in the region. Referring physicians and hospital have access to the transport services available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
This provides an invaluable resource to referring obstetricians particularly for those who practice in small community based hospitals with few resources to handle complex perinatal complications, which can substantially affect both mothers and babies. In utero transport of babies at risk for premature delivery to tertiary care facilities has been shown to significantly improve the overall perinatal outcome for deliveries occurring preterm (particularly at < 34 weeks gestation).