By calling IU Health LifeLine, doctors ignite a chain of command that brings highly skilled clinicians and technologies directly to the patient. Because IU Health LifeLine is fully equipped with technologies found in an intensive care unit, we are able to treat and stabilize the most complex cases during transport. The true value of IU Health LifeLine is our ability to bring the nationally recognized level of care to patients and communities throughout Indiana.
The IU Health 24/7 Transfer Center and Communications Center are central to IU Health LifeLine. Staffed by experienced critical care nurses and technicians, all aspects of a patient transfer are coordinated in one central location.
Transfers can be made from any hospital or scene – locally, regionally or nationally. Once a call is made, the transfer center team alerts IU Health LifeLine to begin the patient transfer. They then connect referring physicians with the receiving physician and EMS responders with transport specialists. The communications center team keeps a constant watch on weather conditions and air and ground traffic to ensure all transports are made in a safe and efficient manner.
IU Health LifeLine critical care transport has five bases strategically located to meet the needs of patients throughout Indiana. Collectively, we have the ability to reach every patient in Indiana by air or ground. Our statewide coverage gives patients priority access to Indiana’s only nationally recognized healthcare system.
GPS Tracking & Traffic Monitoring
Each ambulance is equipped with GPS tracking and real-time traffic monitoring – providing live traffic updates, road conditions and re-routing in the event of traffic issues or problems.
Clinicians in the MICU are in direct communication with the referring and receiving teams. Technology allows for caregivers to have constant updates on patient conditions and transport progress.
IU Health LifeLine can carry more specialized care providers and more advanced equipment. MICU critical care ambulances can hold up to four clinicians and a patient onboard. Built with specialized features, our onboard technologies allow us to bring the IU Health level of critical care directly to patients and communities in need.
A ride in the MICU can be scary for young children. To help patients who are able, we have a DVD player and other features inside the cabin to help comfort patients during transport.
Cutting Edge critical care
Our ambulances allow IU Health LifeLine to bring aboard additional life saving devices – isolettes for our neonatal/pediatric patients, baby pods for our high-risk obstetric patients, and ventricular assist devices (VAD) or balloon pump for our complex cardiovascular patients. We are the only critical care transport program in the state to have blood onsite. This allows us to carry blood on all applicable transports – saving time and saving lives.
Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS)
A life-saving technology that increases flight safety by providing pilots with graphical and audible alerts when potential terrain and obstacle conflicts arise.
Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
TCAS alerts pilots to the presence of nearby aircrafts, thus increasing in-flight patient safety.
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)
This technology allows us to fly when others cannot due to changes in weather. IFR keeps us prepared for changing weather and provides the ability to fly when others may be grounded because of visual flight restrictions.
Improves patient safety in adverse weather conditions and heavy fog by allowing us to transport patients using visual and instrument flight rules.
The sheer size of our aircraft has many benefits. Our cabin size is larger than most, allowing us full body access to the patient. A larger aircraft enables us to carry more advanced equipment and more specialty team members to deliver the best care for the patient.
Our aircraft, the EC145 has twin engines- creating an extra level of safety. Advanced systems on the EC145 include back up technologies, which further enhance the safety of our aircraft.
Depending on patient need, IU Health LifeLine can bring onboard the most modern technology for treatment – isolette for our neonatal/pediatric patients, baby pod for our high-risk obstetric patients, and ventricular assist device (VAD) or balloon pump for our complex cardiovascular patients. We have blood available onsite, making us the only critical care program in the state with the immediate ability to bring blood onboard all applicable transports.
Modes of Transport
IU Health LifeLine is powered by eight teams and two modes of transport – air and ground. By air, we fly an EC145 – the largest, most advanced helicopter for medical air transport in the nation. On the ground, our fleet of Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs), or critical care ambulances, equipped with advanced technologies to treat the most critically ill and injured patients. Should weather or patient need be an issue, IU Health LifeLine has the unique ability to back up flight with ground support. This additional support gives adult and pediatric patients access to Indiana's only nationally recognized medical center, regardless of the situation.
- LifeLine Team
- Adult/Peds Team
- PEDS/NEO Team
- Receiving Physician
On call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our highly skilled teams are certified and extremely experienced.
Comprised of an RN and a paramedic, the adult team is transported by either a pilot or an EMT – depending on mode of transport. IU Health LifeLine also has the ability to bring onboard a High-Risk OB RN or a Pediatric Neonatal RN, depending on the type of patient being transported.
All pediatric and neonatal transfers require an RN and a registered respiratory therapist (RRT), flown by a pilot or driven by an EMT. We also have the ability to bring a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), depending on the severity of the case.
Thanks to the transfer center, the communication center and satellite tracking, the receiving team knows every detail about the patient who is arriving. This level of coordination ensures expedient access and the most advanced level of care upon arrival.