Transport a Patient

The Pediatric and Neonatal Transport Service at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital transports infants, children and high-risk obstetrical patients with conditions requiring specialized care and transport. Our team of dedicated nurses, nurse practitioners and pediatric specialists provide expert care while patients are en route to the hospital. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ambulance, plane and helicopter transport service can be arranged.

If you feel that your patient should be transported to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, call the Access Center at (877) UC–CHILD or (877) 822–4453.

If this is a request for a high-risk obstetric transport, you may also call Labor and Delivery at (415) 353–1787 and ask to speak to the attending perinatologist.

Once you and the UCSF attending doctor have decided on a plan, please have your staff gather the following information. It helps expedite the transfer if the forms are completed prior to the transport teams arrival.

  • A copy of the current hospital chart from the time of admission and a transfer summary as well as the maternal chart if this is a neonatal patient.
  • Copies of all radiologic studies including X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, computed tomography (CT) scans or barium studies.
  • Copies of all consults and subspecialty reports, EKGs, EEGs, surgical reports, pathology reports and slides.
  • Four copies of the patient face sheet that contains demographic and insurance information.

What We Offer

Our attending doctor and the transport service staff will work with you and the UCSF dispatch center to determine the best way to transport your patient. Options include:

  • Ambulance service using your local ambulance provider after discussion with the accepting doctors at UCSF.
  • Our transport service has two dedicated ambulances equipped with specialized pediatric technology. The transport team includes a board-certified or board-eligible pediatrician or neonatal nurse practitioner, a transport nurse and two emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
  • Fixed wing airplane transports for distances greater than 100 miles using either the UCSF Pediatric Transport Team or an air medical transport team.
  • Helicopter transport using an air medical transport team. This option is used as needed for patients more than 3 months of age who are at hospitals located more than one hour away from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Preparing the Parents

Once our doctor has accepted your patient and arranged for transport, you will need to prepare the patient for the journey and let the parents know what they can expect. Here are a few tips:

  • Please make sure the parents remain at your hospital, as it is critical that our team obtain consent from the family as soon as the transport team arrives.
  • Let parents know that they may not be able to ride with their child unless their child's condition permits and there is room available. Our team will not know until they have seen your patient whether or not a parent will be able to accompany the team.
  • In the interest of everyone's safety, parents are asked not to immediately follow the ambulance. Doing so creates a hazardous situation.
  • Refer the parents to the social worker or case manager at your facility when assistance is needed to arrange transportation to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Our social workers can help arrange for lodging, explain insurance coverage and deal with other practical issues once they arrive at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Read more information for parents.

Related Information

Contact Us

Access Center
Phone: (877) UC-CHILD or
(877) 822-4453

Physician Liaison Service
Phone: (800) 444-2559
Fax: (415) 353-4395

Physician Referral Directory
Print listings by specialty.

For the most current information, see our online Find a Doctor directory.