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What is neonatal transport?


Each year in Quebec, hundreds of neonates are born with a health problem requiring specialized intensive care. A majority of these neonates are born in regional hospital centres and are treated by the local health care professionals to the best of their knowledge and available equipment.

In order to provide specialized intensive care, the neonate must be safely and appropriately transferred to a higher level care facility. They can be admitted either to the CHU Sainte-Justine or to another tertiary hospital centre that delivers neonatal intensive care.

How to deliver specialized intensive care to critically ill neonates?

Referring doctors can place a request with the CHU Sainte-Justine’s neonatal transport team, who will travel to where the patient is hospitalized with all of the required equipment and knowledge to support and assist the local hospital team with the patient’s care.


The CHU Sainte-Justine’s neonatal transport team was created several decades ago. In 1998, the implementation of a structured neonatal transport program helped set up a permanent nursing team specialized in neonatal transport.

The nurses always travel with a respiratory therapist specialized in neonatal respiratory care. In 2010, the CHU Sainte-Justine’s neonatal transport team became the only one to offer ultraspecialized care and to include neonatal transport respiratory therapists as permanent members of the program.


The CHU Sainte-Justine’s neonatal transport team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The team is composed of an ultraspecialized transport nurse and respiratory therapist, who are under the supervision of a neonatologist at the CHU Sainte-Justine’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

We deliver vital intensive care services to our clientele and the health care network by providing a true mobile intensive care unit that is specially equipped to address their needs.

  • We serve more than 40 hospital centres across Quebec.
  • We transport more than 400 newborns each year.
  • We have a direct hotline.
  • We are an ultraspecialized neonatal transport team in Quebec that is composed of nurses and respiratory therapists

Types of patients transported:

  • Premature and full-term newborns (24 to 42 weeks gestation)
  • Newborns 0 to 28 days old
  • Birth weight of 500 g to 5 kg
  • Prematurity
  • Respiratory distress
  • Cardiac malformations (congenital and/ or complex heart disease)
  • Cardiorespiratory instability (shocks, resuscitation)
  • Gastrointestinal malformations or other
  • Neonatal asphyxia
  • Infections
  • Surgical problems

Ambulance transportation is provided by Urgences-Santé. Their accredited ambulance attendants work together with our neonatal transport team regarding every patient transfer. 

About this page
Updated on 2/7/2018
Created on 10/2/2014
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