Hotline streamlines care for critically ill and injured children

Sick and injured children in Northern Arizona can receive access to critical care more quickly thanks to a new all-in-one pediatric transport hotline. The Northern Arizona Infants and Children Transport (NAICT) Hotline, which is administered by the Guardian Air Emergency Communication Center in Flagstaff, connects nurses and physicians in rural and specialty healthcare facilities throughout Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.

“The hotline allows healthcare providers to concentrate on patient care instead of having to make multiple phone calls to arrange transfers,” said Wade Patten, R.N., Guardian Air Interim Director. “A call to the toll-free line creates a seamless transition from bedside to bedside.”

NAICT dispatchers can connect rural physicians directly to pediatric specialists, arrange bed placement at another facility, and organize specialty transport teams for pediatric and neonatal intensive care. While most pediatric patients in Northern Arizona can be treated at FMC, dispatchers can also arrange air transport to pediatric facilities in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Albuquerque, among other locations.

Flagstaff Medical Center’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which opened in November 2006 is located adjacent to FMC’s Pediatric Unit. In addition to the Pediatric Units, FMC's Special Care Nursery is certified as a Level II Enhanced Perinatal Center, and cares for ill and premature infants. These units, allow FMC to provide comprehensive pediatric services for patients who range in age from birth to 18 years old.

Guardian Air currently operates six air medical bases in Northern Arizona, with helicopters based in Flagstaff, Winslow, Kingman and Cottonwood and airplanes based in Showlow and Kingman. Each pediatric flight team includes a registered nurse and a critical care paramedic and/or a respiratory therapist who is specially trained in pediatric critical care such as the management of traumatic injuries, respiratory illness requiring ventilators. A neonatal specialty team is available for premature infants and all neonatal emergencies requiring temperature-controlled isolettes.

For more information on the Northern Arizona Infants and Children Transport (NAICT) Hotline, call Guardian Air at 928 214-6902. For more information on services and programs offered at FMC, visit