Providence Saint Joseph Critical Care Ambulance

January 01, 2012

Imagine you or a loved on is rushed to a hospital emergency room with telltale signs of a stroke, only to find your community hospital doesn’t have the kind of specialist you need. You know minutes count. You’re at your most vulnerable.

Help comes from Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center’s new Critical Care Transport. A specially trained nurse is on board ready to care for you, providing treatment and medication en route to the experts at the Burbank hospital.

Debbie Buffham, R.N., who supervises the program, is and is one of five nurses trained to ride the critical care ambulance when it picks up stroke and heart patients from several contract community hospitals and brings them Providence Saint Joseph. She met up a few days later with one of her first patients, a man who called her his angel, a man whose family hugged her when she walked into his hospital room where he was recovering.

Debbie and her team embody the Providence vision. These nurses comfort their patients on the journey to Providence, care for them when they’re critically ill and ease their way as they take those nerve-wracking gurney rides to diagnostics and lifesaving treatment. 

The critical care transport program is one more Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center allows the hospital to reach beyond its walls and provide excellent and compassionate care to the seriously ill in need of our expertise in cardiology and neurology.

Without this program, patients can lose precious minutes, and even hours, as hospital staffs make phone calls to coordinate critical transports to those medical centers with certified cardiac and stroke programs. Our transport is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

“This is the first of its kind throughout the entire valley,” said Daniel Eisenberg, M.D., chief of cardiology at Providence Saint Joseph. “It allows patients to be transferred from urgent care centers or community hospitals that do not have the facilities to treat stroke and very critical heart conditions. We’re there within moments, any time of day or night and treatment begins on the way to our hospital.”