Director of CATS

Andy Petros leads the child acute transport service, which provides a unique service for children requiring intensive care treatment while being taken to hospital.

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Andy Petros: Director of CATS (audio transcript)

Andy: “My name is Andy Petros and I’m the specialty unit lead for the paediatric and neonatal intensive care units and I’m the director of the CATS service, the children’s acute transport service.

“The CATS service is a unique service. It’s a model which had not been adopted in the UK until we started it off. It provides care at the point at where the child is in an A&E. It provides intensive care for them and brings them into an intensive care unit. I supervise and organise and coordinate all the people who work within CATS. 10 consultants, 10 regular nurses and a rotating group of about 30 nurses who come from all the hospitals in north London. I liaise with people outside the Trust and I make sure that it all sort of ticks over every day, but occasionally I also go out and do some retrievals of sick children as well, just to keep my skills up.

“We take any child between the age of zero and 16. Any child that’s critically ill, any child who needs ventilation in particular ie a breathing machine, any child whose blood pressure is a problem, who has got sepsis, who has had a road traffic accident, damages like that, any metabolic problems, anybody who goes into a casualty, they’ll be resuscitated there. And then for continuing care, intensive care, they’ll call CATS and CATS will find them a bed at St Mary's Hospital, the Brompton Hospital or Great Ormond Street.

“For children coming into intensive care they’re not aware because they are asleep and sedated. What it’s like for parents to come in is quite a different matter. They are obviously much more surprised by the environment and we try to minimise that. Because it’s so hi tech, there’s lots of bleeps and sounds going off and a lot of people walking around quickly. They’re all very busy and preoccupied to get the job done.”

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