Tender Care For Tiny Tots
Expectant parents can rest assured that, should any complications arise, we have the staff, training and equipment to give infants a greater chance to survive and thrive. Our Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) offers the most sophisticated care for babies born at any viable gestational age, including micropreemies.
Our Level IIIB designation attests to our ability to provide the most advanced technology, state-of-the-art equipment and neonatal professionals to help newborns in need of specialized care.
This is a designation only given to hospitals that have the expertise to care for the most complicated births; at risk newborns including as early as 23-28 weeks gestation, birth weights of 500-1,000 grams (one to two lbs.) birth weight; and/or other neonates with serious illnesses who require critical or intermediate level care.
Parents don't expect to have their infant in the NICU, but being proactive in learning about the NICU during pregnancy is recommended should your baby be born prematurely or seriously ill. More than 500,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the United States.
To ensure a smooth transition home with baby, we offer new parents an opportunity to spend a night just before discharge in the hospital with their baby. This provides parents a chance to care for their newborn with the added assurance, that if needed, medical assistance is close at hand.
The NICU is designed to provide an atmosphere that limits stress to the infant and meets basic needs of warmth, nutrition and protection to assure proper growth and development.:
- A 24-hour-a-day comprehensive medical team comprised of five American Academy of Pediatrics Board-Certified Neonatologists.
Co-bedding means that multiples are placed in the same incubator to continue the interactive development likely shared in utero.
Giraffe Omnibeds (incubator and warmer all-in-one) so critical babies don't have to be moved.
- State-of-the-art monitoring and equipment.
- A self-contained Blood Gas Laboratory located in the NICU for immediate blood gas results, a critical monitoring process.
Digital Imaging (X-ray) Readers in the unit, allowing X-rays to be viewed by the staff without delay.
Hemodynamic monitoring for real time assessments of cardiovascular function.
Bedside EEG monitoring for more efficient diagnosis and prognosis of neurological conditions.
- High-frequency oscillatory ventilation respirators for helping baby breath when they are too sick or weak.
Cool-Cap technology provides neurological protection to the infant while minimizing the side effects of acute hypoxia in infants beyond 36 weeks gestation. Neurodevelopmental outcomes and survival rates at 18 months of age are significantly improved versus non-treatment.
Inhaled Nitric Oxide
Therapy increases the survival rate of infants 35 weeks gestation and above suffering from respiratory failure secondary to Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension.
Neonatal Transport Service Team: Newborns at other hospitals who require the specialized treatment that a Level IIIB/Community Level NICU can offer are stabilized and then transferred to Northridge Hospital.
A Cool Future
Newborns suffering from oxygen deficit and depression at and before birth, called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), now have an improved outcome thanks to the Olympic Cool-Cap System. We were the first facility in the Valley to use the Cool Cap technology and it is the only FDA-approved device for the treatment of (HIE).
The Cool-Cap technology provides neurological protection to the infant while minimizing the side effects of hypoxemia. Neurodevelopmental outcomes and survival rates at 18 months of age are significantly improved versus non-treatment.
The Cool-Cap utilizes a special cap to provide selective brain cooling while generating a desired below normal core body temperature. To date, the Cool Cap has only been approved for newborns who are at, or beyond 36-weeks gestation, and within the first six hours of life. The Cool-Cap treatment can prevent or significantly reduce the severity of neurologic injury associated with HIE.
Inhaled Nitric Oxide (iNO) Program
The primary value of Inhaled Nitric Oxide (iNO) is for the treatment of babies 35 weeks gestation and above suffering from hypoxic respiratory failure (low oxygen levels) associated with conditions such as meconium aspiration, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and sepsis/pneumonia. Hypoxic respiratory failure, which has a mortality rate as high as 80 percent, now has a reduced mortality rate as low as 10 percent with this treatment.
A Team of Experts
Our NICU Nursing staff has an average of 13 years experience caring for the most tiny and critical babies. Our Board-Certified Neonatologists have an average of 35 years experience.
Our multidisciplinary team of caregivers include: neonatologists, registered nurses, utilization review experts, respiratory therapists, occupational and physical therapists, dietitians, social workers, case managers, dieticians, a bioethicist and a NICU educator. In addition, the NICU has lactation educators who can help prepare the new mother for breastfeeding.
The NICU physician team of specialists provide the comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services usually only found by visiting multiple institutions. The Neonatology Services collaborates closely with the obstetrics and perinatology medical staff.
Our team members include a full-range of pediatric subspecialty consultants.
- Pediatric subspecialty areas
- Surgery (4 Board-Certified and immediately available)
- Cardiology (8 Board-Certified Pediatric Cardiologists)
- Gastronenterology (2 Board-Certified Pediatric Gastroenterologists)
- Infectious Diseases
- Perinatologists (high-risk Obstetricians available to assist Obstetricians in the management of high-risk mothers prior to birth)
- Thoracic Surgery
- Other subspecialty support available immediately with the UCLA Neonatology Program. Infants requiring even higher levels of support are transported to UCLA to meet the baby’s immediate needs, and then are transferred back to Northridge Hospital when consultative care is completed.