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Transport of extremely low birth weight neonates for persistent ductus arteriosus closure in the catheterization lab

Adam Willis, Lillia Pereiras, Tim Head, Genevieve Dupuis, Janet Sessums, Gordon Corder, Kim Graves, Jack Tipton, Shyam Sathanandam

LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee

* Corresponding Author: Adam Willis, MD, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, 848 Adams Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103. Email:

Congenital Heart Disease 2019, 14(1), 69-73.


Objective: The objective of this article is to describe the elements involved with transporting extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants from referring centers to our center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and then from the NICU to the catheterization lab for transcatheter closure of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
Setting: Several referring centers are over 300 miles away. ELBW infants are transferred in to our NICU safely for the procedure and transferred back following the procedure. A multidisciplinary team approach is necessary in order to achieve a safe transport of these fragile patients.
Patients: To date, we have over 12 centers referring patients that weigh <1000 g for transcatheter PDA closure (TCPC). Three of these centers are over 300 miles away. Five other centers are between 100 and 300 miles from the hospital in which we perform TCPC.
Interventions: Fixed-wing aircrafts are necessary for long-distance transfers. Various modes of mechanical ventilators including transport oscillators are built into temperature- and humidity-controlled incubators in which these infants are transported. Ambulances are used to take the patient between the airport and the hospital. Shorter distance transports are accomplished via helicopters or ambulances. Transfer from the NICU to the catheterization lab to perform TCPC is a relatively easier endeavor.
Outcome Measures: Patients’ body temperature, fluid balance, and hemodynamics have to be maintained throughout the transport and the procedure for best outcomes.
Results: There has been 100% procedural success of performing TCPC in ELBW infants with no hemodynamic compromise during transport.
Conclusions: TCPC has shown promise in improving overall patient outcomes that the potential hazards associated with complex transport measures are worth it. Successful transfer to and from referring centers and to and from the catheterization lab can be accomplished safely with increasing institutional experience.


Cite This Article

Willis, A., Pereiras, L., Head, T., Dupuis, G., Sessums, J. et al. (2019). Transport of extremely low birth weight neonates for persistent ductus arteriosus closure in the catheterization lab. Congenital Heart Disease, 14(1), 69–73.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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