One Saturday morning, Jessica Peters, a neonatal nurse practitioner with Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida, was notified that a newborn delivered emergently at a community medical center was under distress and needed to be transported to the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart neonatal intensive care unit – the area’s only level III NICU, which can care for the most critically ill newborns.
Unfortunately, the NICU’s specially equipped critical care ambulance was en route to another emergency in Crestview, Florida, which would delay transportation by two hours.
Since Jessica was only 25 minutes away, she jumped in her car and drove to the community hospital. On the way, she called Tony Hampton, MD, a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital, who was off work that day but lived nearby.
Within 10 minutes of arriving at the community hospital, Jessica was given emergency privileges to provide care to the newborn. Together, she and Dr. Hampton stabilized the newborn, then they stayed with him until the ambulance arrived.
Jessica said this is just one example of many when doctors and nurses have helped referring facilities in need of their NICU expertise.