Baby delivered during airlift to hospital

First in-transport baby born in Air St. Luke's.

BOISE -- It's certainly not something most moms can say - or that Air St. Luke's could say before Sunday, Feb. 19.

An Oregon woman had to be airlifted from La Grande to Boise to deliver her baby early and unexpectedly. But it was what happened the minute that St. Luke's plane touched down in Boise that was even more unexpected.

Cassidy Ramberg's baby, Tait, was born at just 33 weeks. He is doing well in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Luke's in Downtown Boise - despite a scary situation for his mom. This was the first time ever that an Air St. Luke's team delivered a baby while transporting the mother to the hospital.

Well over a month before Tait's due date, Cassidy's water broke. She and her husband drove about 20 minutes from their house in Cove, Ore., to the hospital in La Grande.

"At that small hospital there it's no question if you're before 34 weeks they automatically fly you out to a bigger hospital," Ramberg said.

St. Luke's Boise is the closest Level III NICU to La Grande, which is why Air St. Luke's responded.

"She was not in full labor when we picked her up so she was deemed safe for transport," Clinical Supervisor of St. Luke's Maternal Child team Darra Franz said.

But then, partway through the flight, Cassidy says the medication she was given to help slow down labor wore off. The nurse on-board checked her progress and found Cassidy was officially in labor.

"So they had me doing real intense breathing through contractions while we were still in the airplane," Ramberg added.

When the plane landed in Boise, crews rushed to get her off the plane and into the Air St. Luke's ground ambulance that was waiting on the tarmac.

"But I wouldn't say it was more than a minute or two that they got me in the ambulance and he was born," Ramberg said. "It was a close call."

"As soon as we got the patient in and got to the gate, we had to stop at the gate and we were just like, 'nope, not going any farther,'" an Air St. Luke's EMT, Cody Tam, told KTVB.

Tam was there when the baby was born; his partner - a paramedic - helped deliver Tait.

"It was a rush from start to finish," Tam added. "He looked good, he looked good."

"It was kind of scary being alone and knowing he was so early," Ramberg said as her tears welled in her eyes.

Cassidy, and the first responders, are grateful that mom and baby made it out to the ground ambulance where crews had all the necessary resources.

"It was really safe and it was a really great outcome," Franz added.

Cassidy says Tait has to learn how to eat on his own before they can go back to Oregon, but he has no other medical issues.

"[He] came into the world in a whirlwind, that's for sure," she added.

Franz says Air St. Luke's crews have transported multiple moms in labor, but up until last weekend, they have been able to get them through the doors of the hospital. 

Cassidy tells us she's extremely grateful to the ambulance crew who was completely prepared, trained and educated for this kind of situation.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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