Manipal Hospitals has launched fully-loaded ambulances to offer neonatal ambulance service for patients visiting Manipal and other hospitals in Bengaluru, India, and its peripheral areas, reported the Deccan Herald.

The new neonatal ambulance service, which has been inaugurated by Karnataka health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, will provide emergency NICU care to infants on the way to the hospital.

Named Manipal Ambulance Response Service-Neonatal-Care on Wheels (MARS-NOW), the service is mainly for preterm babies, with cardiac or neurological disorders, and breathing problems, among others.

Each of these ambulances features infant incubators, heart and lung monitors, high-frequency and conventional ventilators, nitric oxide administration, and advanced vehicle suspension.

The aim is to protect critically ill babies, who might otherwise be exposed to temperature fluctuation, shock, or stress in regular vehicles.

Currently, the service includes four ambulances.  Each of these ambulances will comprise neonatal teams, including consultants, nurses, paramedics and transport registrars.

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Manipal Hospitals chairman Dr H Sudarshan Ballal was quoted by The Hans India as saying: “We understand that newborns deserve the best care, especially during critical times.

“Our neonatal transport service is a seamless continuum of our neonatal care that not only showcases our capabilities as neonatal experts but also underscores our commitment to compassionate care. We are proud to be pioneers in formalising a networked neonatal transport service that spans multiple hospitals, serving the greater Bangalore community.”

Two of the four ambulances are dedicated to in-house patients whereas the other two are planned to be stationed within the city to provide swift access to neighbouring hospitals.