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El Paso Children’s Hospital ‘Rocket Ambulance’ lessens stressful trips to the hospital

In an emergency, an ambulance ride for a child could be a terrifying experience but the El Paso Children’s Hospital has a special ambulance that can not only safely transport children but make it a little more enjoyable.

“Right now we’re are in a ambulance that’s equipped with specialized equipment and highly skilled personnel,” said Leticia Martinez.

Martinez is part of EPCH special NICU and pediatric transport team.

“I have been doing neo-natal and pediatric transport for over 25 years now,” Martinez said.

The ambulance is strictly used to transport patients from 17-years-old all the way down to the very, very young.

“We’re able to care for neo-nates, premature babies and micro-premies,” Martinez said.

The ambulance is completely self sustainable. It can run several hours on its own power and can transport and monitor two patients at once.

The services aren’t only confined to El Paso.

“We’re able to go as far as Las Cruces, Deming, Gila,” Martinez said.

The team is picking up 9-year-old Ximena Prieto from a clinic in west El Paso.

Prieto is dealing with diabetes related symptoms and although it may seem routine — there could be challenges.

“These kids can be very very sick. Their sugar is so high sometimes it can affect their brain,” said Ashley Howard, Pediatric Transport team specialist.

A little nervous, Prieto holds on to a stuffed puppy that comes with the ride.

“It’s very kid friendly. We’re able to calm the patient down if they are experiencing anxiety. We’re able to show them movies,” Martinez said.

For Martinez and the rest of the staff, getting their patient to the hospital safely is their main priority.

“I enjoy what I do because I feel like I make a difference in caring for these patients and I like making them feel better,” Martinez said.

El Paso Children’s Hospital admitted 23-thousand pediatric patients last year.

The hospital’s pediatric transport teams work 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

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