Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team


Critical illness or injury are not confined to the Calgary area. Sadly, children face life-threatening health crises throughout southern Alberta, and into BC and Saskatchewan. For those young patients and their families living in rural centres without immediate access to expert pediatric care, the Pediatric Critical Care Transport (PCCT) Team from the Alberta Children’s Hospital is literally their lifeline.

Over the last five years, more than 1,200 children from across southern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Saskatchewan needed the life-saving services of the PCCT team. Too sick to be treated in their home communities, these critically-ill and injured children relied on our specialists to reach them and provide timely expert interventions. Those treatments continued while they were transported safely to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where comprehensive emergency and intensive care could be provided.

The dedicated PCCT team at the Alberta Children’s Hospital was created in 2012 with support from the community. Since that time, demand for transports from outside the hospital has more than doubled. At the same time, with the overall severity of illness increasing among inpatients, the PCCT team is regularly called upon to provide highly-skilled transports within the walls of the hospital, as well.

Your generous support will make it possible to build on the legacy of support for this specialized, life-saving program, the team is prepared to take their care to the next level in the following ways:

  • Educating and Equipping at Home and Away: Leveraging expertise in simulation training through the donor-funded KidSIM program, critical care educators will develop curriculum and training modules to ensure the PCCT team is prepared to face and manage whatever medical crises they encounter in the field. Specialized skills such as ultrasound-guided IV access or infant intubation in a moving vehicle or aircraft requires extensive practice to ensure skills are sharp in real-life emergency scenarios.
  • Exploring Virtual Care and App Development: The team knows the advantage of engaging in video communication in quickly evolving health crises. In the few sample cases where video conferencing was used, the consulting Alberta Children’s Hospital intensivist found it very helpful to have “eyes” on the patient, even if from afar. It improved their ability to assess and manage care while the transport team was enroute.
  • Evaluating and Acquiring Best Equipment: Because they travel by air, helicopter and ground ambulances, distinct considerations are required for both PCCT personnel and their equipment to ensure optimal outcomes in the transport environment. Medical supplies and technology must be portable, compatible and easily transferable among all three ambulance types, and able to perform in pressurized aircraft and turbulent conditions. Transport Canada has stringent requirements regarding certification for safety in the air when transporting patients.

With your support the PCCT team will fund more highly-skilled personnel and critical equipment to ensure children in life-threatening condition receive the best possible care – especially when every second counts. To learn more, please email us!