St. Louis Children's Hospital's Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) enables a transport physician, nurse, and paramedics to provide a bridge of newborn and pediatric intensive care between hospitals within a 300-mile service area. Most intensive care procedures can be performed during transport because the MICU carries the latest equipment and supplies for airway management, artificial ventilation, oxygenation, suction, and patient monitoring.
- Room for up to three isolettes for newborn triplets, or one isolette and a stretcher for a newborn and mom (who would be transported to an adult hospital)
- Seating for up to eight people and a safety belt system that allows the crew to access patients while properly restrained
- A refrigerator to keep medicines at proper temperature
- A heating cabinet to warm blankets
- A satellite-based global positioning system to help dispatchers track the vehicle's location as well as telephones and radios to maintain communications
- TV and VCR to allow less acute pediatric patients to watch videos to help calm their fears
Each system in the MICU has two backups, vital to maintaining patient care, to ensure continuity in the event of a breakdown. For example, the MICU has three separate electrical power systems - including one with enough juice to power two small homes.
Several area and national EMS services are modeling their MICUs after the St. Louis Children's Hospital design.