Neonatology (NICU)

Imagine newborns so tiny one can easily fit in your hand. These newborns, often premature or born with complications, need specialized care and attention to overcome the challenges ahead and succeed in one of the hardest battles of their lives.

The Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, where neonatology services are delivered, is well-equipped with the staff, technology, and expertise to provide the tiniest patients with the extra-special care they need.

We recognize the stress of having a newborn baby with health issues. Parents have open visiting hours, and one parent can stay with your newborn around the clock.

We also offer secure, web-based technology that allows you to monitor their baby from any device when you can’t be present at their bedside.

Our social workers and nursing case managers can assist you with everything from finding a place to stay to understanding insurance issues. And our family-led support group meets every two weeks to offer emotional support.

Whether your newborn is in the NICU for a few days or several weeks, we keep you closely apprised of what’s happening with your child.

You can expect close communication with your child’s medical team, including:

  • Participation in daily rounds with the care team
  • Daily contact with your child’s provider
  • Online access to your child’s medical records through Children’s Connect
  • Participation in nursing care transitions

The waiting room on 4th floor is equipped with a kitchenette and a sibling play area. The 5th floor has a kitchenette, family resource library, and computers with internet access. An education room offers space for staff to teach families how to care for and nurture their newborns. We even offer a transition room where parents can spend a night with their medically fragile newborns and practice specific caregiving skills.

Radiology viewing rooms on each floor speed diagnosis and treatment. Isolation rooms, a procedure room, a complete surgical suite, fetal care birthing center, pharmacy support, and office space allow physicians and staff to remain close to the most critically ill patients.

What Sets Children’s Apart?

As the only Level IV NICU in Nebraska, we offer the most advanced level of neonatal care available. We’re able to treat nearly every condition that your newborn baby may have, thanks to our experienced, specially trained medical professionals.

Level IV NICUs are equipped to handle newborns who may be struggling with serious, complex health issues. Because we are the only Level IV NICU in the state, we often receive referrals from hospitals across Nebraska.

We have board-certified neonatologists and specialists in every area of pediatric medicine, including neonatal specialists and pediatric heart surgeons.

In addition to our physicians, we have advanced practice nurses who deliver medical care. Our nurses have specialized training and experience caring for newborns with serious health issues.

Our developmental care specialist ensures that the smallest, most fragile babies stay on target with their development goals, neurologically and physically. And our lactation consultants are here to support breastfeeding moms.

Our Fetal Care Center provides a coordinated plan of care for babies with complex medical conditions that will require intervention shortly after birth. In very high-risk situations, expectant mothers can deliver their babies in a specialized unit located steps away from the NICU.

Our Neuro NICU is a collaboration between care teams from several specialties to care for infants who have, or are at risk for, brain injury. Specialized physicians, nurses, and therapists work together to provide unique and individualized care to ensure our patients reach their full potential.

Fast Facts

In 2017, the NICU at Children’s was awarded a Beacon Gold certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for excellence in care for intensive care units. This is the highest certification given by the organization.

Conditions We Treat

Premature babies and newborns can have a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions that require a stay in the NICU, including:

  • Anemia

    Premature babies may have anemia, meaning that they lack sufficient red blood cells.
  • Apnea

    Irregular breathing patterns.
  • Bradycardia

    Slow heartbeat.
  • Breathing Problems

    Problems that stem from lungs that aren’t fully developed.
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

    A condition that can affect babies with underdeveloped lungs.
  • Coarctation Of The Aorta

    A narrowing of the large artery that sends blood from the heart. This requires surgery to correct.
  • Gastroschisis

    When intestines or other organs are outside of the abdomen and must be corrected by surgery.
  • Heart Valve Abnormalities

    Issues that interfere with normal blood flow and require surgery to correct.
  • Hypoglycemia

    Low blood sugar, which can often be addressed with proper feeding.
  • Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

    A condition where babies are smaller than normal throughout pregnancy and at birth.
  • Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)

    Bleeding in the brain. Oftentimes, these bleeds correct themselves on their own; otherwise, surgery may be needed.
  • Jaundice

    A condition that develops when the baby’s liver can’t remove bilirubin, a waste product, from the blood.
  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

    An intestinal problem that may require surgery to fix.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

    A heart problem that is common in premature babies. PDA is treated with medication or surgery. An intestinal problem that may require surgery to fix.
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)

    A condition that prevents a baby from breathing properly.
  • Pneumonia

    A buildup of fluid in the lungs, which can impair a baby’s ability to breathe properly.
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)

    A breathing problem that can affect premature babies.
  • Retinopathy Of Prematurity (ROP)

    A condition in which blood vessels in the baby’s eye grow abnormally.
  • Sepsis

    A bacterial infection of the bloodstream.
  • Septal Defect

    A hole in the heart that may require surgery to correct.
  • Tetralogy Of Fallot

    A complex heart defect that requires surgery to fix.
  • Transposition Of The Great Arteries

    A condition in which the position of the arteries develops incorrectly. This requires surgical correction.

Whether your newborn has an illness, a congenital abnormality, or was born prematurely, our experienced specialists and advanced neonatal technology will provide the highest level of care to your newborn.

What is the Neuroscience Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Neuro NICU)?

The Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Neuro NICU provides advanced comprehensive assessment and therapy for preterm and term newborns who are at high risk for developing brain injury and issues in later childhood development.

  • More about the Neuro NICU

    The Neuro NICU team consists of specially trained physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, developmental specialists, and therapists whose main focus is on the optimization of neurologic and developmental outcomes through the use of advanced neurodiagnostic methods and therapies.

    In addition to the care that the infants receive at the bedside, our multidisciplinary team meets frequently to discuss not only the acute in-hospital care for each of the infants admitted to the Neuro NICU, but also the long-term goals to ensure a safe and optimal transition to outpatient care.

    We work closely with the Nebraska Developmental Tracking Infant Progress Statewide (TIPS) program to continue to monitor and support development when it comes time for discharge from the NICU.

    To further support our goal of implementing advanced evidence-based research methods into the bedside clinical care that we provide, our team is actively involved in research efforts to discover new therapies and techniques that could further improve the outcomes of newborns with brain injury.

    Who Do We Care For?

    Any infant who is born with a brain injury or is at high risk for significant alterations in their development
    would qualify for care in the Neuro NICU. The most common diagnoses that are referred to us are:

    • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
    • Neonatal encephalopathy
    • Seizures
    • Perinatal stroke
    • Severe (Grade 3-4) intraventricular hemorrhage
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Hypotonia
    • Central nervous system malformations

    What Do We Offer?

    The Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Neuro NICU provides the most advanced technology for assessing and treating newborn brain injury, including:

    • Whole body therapeutic hypothermia
    • Continuous video EEG brain monitoring
    • Bedside amplitude-integrated EEG
    • Near-infrared spectroscopy tissue perfusion monitoring
    • Neonatal-specific magnetic resonance imaging protocols

    Resources For Families

Our Specialists

What To Do Next

For Patients

For more information, call 402-955-6130.

For Referring Providers

The Physicians’ Priority Line is your 24-hour link to pediatric specialists at Children’s for referrals, emergency and urgent consults, physician-to-physician consults, admissions, and transport services. Call 855-850-KIDS (5437).

Learn more about referring patients.

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