Children's Hospital Colorado
flight for life

flight for life

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.

An orange and yellow helicopter is parked on top of a building.

Children's Hospital Colorado Flight For Life team is the only pediatric transport team in the region and is accredited by the International Commission for the Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems. Children's Hospital Colorado partners with St. Anthony's Hospital, a part of the Centura Health System, and St. Anthony’s Flight For Life team to provide emergency flight transport for the region’s pediatric trauma patients.

Flight For Life covers a six-state region, including Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming. The program uses helicopters, fixed-wing planes, and has access to a Lear jet for journeys beyond 500 miles. Medical control utilizing standing protocols and radio/telephone communication is provided by the neonatology department, emergency department and pediatric intensive care units at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Newborn and Young Child Team Flight Nurses

Flight For Life nurses specialize in emergency and critical care management of infants and children. They are trained extensively in providing assessment, intervention and care of the critically ill or injured patient. Training includes:

The Flight For Life team, wearing blue jumpers with orange stripe and lettering, loads an orange and yellow helicopter parked on top of the building.

  • Airway management including rapid sequence intubation and the maintenance of chemical sedation/paralysis
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Thoracentesis
  • Umbilical lines insertion and management
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
  • Blood product administration
  • Management of complications at delivery, and complex cardiac, vascular and pulmonary conditions
  • Nitric oxide, prostaglandin and surfactant therapy

Newborn and Young Child Respiratory Therapists

Flight For Life respiratory therapists are registered respiratory therapists with specialization in respiratory care and emergency management of pediatric and neonatal patients. They are trained extensively in assessment, management and monitoring of acutely ill or critically injured patients. Duties include provision of respiratory care along with assisting the flight nurse with care and procedures. Care provided by respiratory therapists includes:

  • Airway management including endotracheal intubation
  • Arterial blood sampling
  • Venipuncture
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
  • Administration of nitric oxide
  • Ventilator management

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Children's Colorado in the news

The Denver Post

Sleek New Kids-Only Helicopter is Transforming the Region's Air Transport

May 14, 2017

"It's a game-changer," said Joe Darmofal, director of Flight Team, EMS, Outreach and Education. "In a lot of rural communities that we serve, they don't have the equipment or medication to care for these kids. Just the ventilators alone that we carry can really make a difference in saving kids' lives," said Darmofal.


Children's Hospital Colorado Gets New Helicopter for Newborn and Pediatric Patients

April 28, 2017

9News talked to the program director of Flight for Life: "It's truly a specialty unit that we know will have results in improving the health of those kids who wind up transported on it," said Kathleen Mayer.