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Faster pediatric care now available across the region, Covenant pediatric helicopter now operational

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 9:38 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Pediatric patients in rural areas can get hospital care faster thanks to Covenant’s new pediatric helicopter.

The Kite Flight is the only dedicated neonatal and pediatric helicopter in the region, servicing nearly 300 miles in any direction. Many rural hospitals may not have the same resources available as Covenant and hundreds of pediatric patients across the region are transported to Lubbock through a special ambulance. Now the same equipment and team can provide care - faster.

“The time can be a matter of life or death. So it is very important that we get to know as fast as possible,” said Specialty Transport Coordinator Cherish Brodbeck. Brodbeck coordinates these specialty transports. She is on the Kite Flight team operating an Airbus Helicopter H135 P3.

Covenant pediatrics transported 350 pediatric patients last year in their special ambulance spanning from eastern New Mexico throughout West Texas.

“That number significantly increased over the last few years. So we’re super excited to be able to provide that service that you know that often, and we anticipate that the need this year will be even significantly more than that,” Brodbeck said.

The Kite Flight is an additional resource to rural hospitals as it transports primarily children, other existing ambulances or choppers can remain available for other emergencies.

“Many counties in the region are only covered by one ground ambulance, or maybe one helicopter, if they are out of service or moving a patient as an adult patient, then there is no one that can provide that at service, or vice versa. If they send that service out without the pediatric patient, then now that that area is no longer covered for 911, or transfer services as well,” Brodbeck said.

The transport team is available 24/7 trained in NICU, pediatric care and respiratory therapy.

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