• Perinatal Transport Team 

    In January 2013, St. John’s added Perinatal Saints Flight transport team, which expects to have two to four transports per month. The ability to quickly transport OB patients to the South-Central Illinois Perinatal Center at St. John’s helps optimize outcomes for both mothers and babies. 

    The South-Central Illinois Perinatal Center/Springfield Co-Perinatal Center cares for women with high-risk pregnancies and their babies throughout a 34-county area in central Illinois. 

    “In the past, we did not have an obstetrical nurse specifically trained for high-risk obstetrical care to accompany the patient during the air transport,” said Dr. Robert Abrams, co-director of the Perinatal Center, Division Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine, SIU School of Medicine and Department Chair of Obstetrics at St. John’s. “Now if an obstetrical patient needs acute care during the flight, a labor and delivery nurse is right by her side.” 

    St. John’s has 14 maternal transport team members. All of them are experienced labor and delivery nurses, and many of them are charge nurses. All team members attended a mandatory training session with Air Methods and completed a safety test prior to beginning air transports. Team members must attend bimonthly meetings, meet continuing education requirements, and attend yearly flight training and ambulance review. 

    The Perinatal Center includes a team of SIU School of Medicine physicians who specialize in maternal-fetal medicine and neonatology. The Center works closely with health care professionals who provide care in hospitals, physician offices, public health departments and early intervention agencies to share the latest information on prenatal and neonatal care.