NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital is one of the busiest and most highly regarded units in the country. As a nationally designated Level IIIC NICU, we have attained the highest recognition possible in neonatal intensive care, reserved for centers caring for the smallest and sickest newborns. Our experienced and compassionate staff cares for more than 1,000 critically ill infants each year with a variety of life-threatening problems, including extreme prematurity, respiratory failure, gastrointestinal disorders, congenital abnormalities (disorders present at birth), congenital heart disease, and other conditions that may require surgery. Our NICU employs the latest technology and therapies available to offer critically ill newborns the best chance for survival and a good quality of life. We also offer a Neonatal Comfort Care Program to welcome babies with life-limiting conditions and to support their families.
We have an extraordinary dedicated staff of neonatologists, neonatal nurses and nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, psychologists, social workers, a full-time nutritionist, and pharmacists. Our NICU nursing team received the highest nursing team award from Advances for Nurses magazine. The NICU at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital has also been featured on ABC Nightline, as well as on WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York City and in New York magazine.
With 62 beds (including a four-bed infant transitional unit located near the labor and delivery rooms), our NICU provides ample space for clinicians at the bedside, as well as an isolation suite and procedure room that allow most care to be delivered on the unit. In addition, the NICU has a large lounge, privacy areas, and a range of amenities for families.
If your child requires care in the NICU, our staff will offer you the compassion, guidance, and support you need during your child’s stay with us. We encourage you to be involved in the care of your infant from the very beginning. Within the NICU, there is room for you to sleep next to your child’s isolette. Although we are high-tech and able to respond to the most critical medical needs of your child, we never forget that we are caring for your newborn baby. We will help you and your baby to breastfeed (if you choose to do so) and to grow and thrive in a developmentally appropriate way. We recognize that you are the most important member of your baby’s care team, and we welcome your presence and input while your child is with us in the NICU.
Since premature babies are generally hospitalized for several months, you may feel anxious about leaving the hospital and returning home with your infant. As part of our commitment to providing family-centered care, we help you make this transition by offering you the opportunity to spend the night in a homelike furnished bedroom in the hospital with your baby, who by then is able to sleep in a crib. You can take care of your baby’s needs throughout the night, knowing that if you need medical help, nurses are close at hand. Our goal is to help your baby thrive and to give you education and comfort you need to start your lives together once you leave the hospital.
Our NICU has been recognized for excellence in several areas, including:
- The National Institutes of Health recognized our NICU for excellence in the treatment of respiratory disorders, especially our extremely low incidence of chronic lung disease.
- We were among the first centers in the country to offer extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy for infants with severe respiratory failure who cannot be treated successfully with conventional therapies. Today, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital is one of only three facilities in the Tri-State area to offer ECMO, an artificial heart and lung system that supports oxygenation of the body until a baby’s lungs can function on their own.
- We have particular expertise in treating newborns with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, using an approach we developed that allows gentle support of the fragile lungs of these babies.
- We care for newborns delivered through the EXIT procedure. This rare surgical procedure is performed when the baby has a condition that leads to blockage of the infant’s airway once he or she is born. Through a cesarean delivery (C-section), we partially deliver the baby, insert an airway tube while the child is still connected to the mother through the umbilical cord, and then deliver the baby.
- In addition, we manage respiratory complications with ventilators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to help infants maintain adequate oxygen levels.
- We are widely recognized for neonatal heart surgery. Many of the procedures we perform are in low-birthweight newborns and in infants under the age of one month.
- The Congenital Heart Center provides collaborative, multidisciplinary care. Bringing together our pediatric surgical, medical, anesthesiology, perfusion, critical care, and cardiovascular support specialists into an integrated care team helps us to optimize patient outcomes.
- Our physicians apply the latest neurological advances to support infant health, such as electroencephalography (EEG) methods to access brain function and head cooling caps, which lower the baby’s head and body temperature to help lessen the risk of a brain disability.
- Our specialists have made major contributions to the field of neonatal nutrition.
- The neonatal nutritionist is an integral member of the healthcare team, providing recommendations to optimize the nourishment of each critically ill newborn.
- Lactation consultants assist mothers in learning the necessary skills to establish and maintain their milk supply and help them overcome obstacles to breastfeeding.
Neonatal Comfort Care Program
- When an infant is affected by a life-limiting condition or a terminal illness, our Neonatal Comfort Care Program provides all of the care these babies need in an environment that is compassionate, warm, and loving. We understand how very difficult this time is for families and are there to help on every step of the journey.
- The Neonatal Comfort Care Program is available when there are no medical and surgical treatments available to help your baby recover. Our multidisciplinary team will support you and your family while alleviating your child’s suffering and improving the quality of his or her life.
- Child life specialists are accredited professionals who apply their child development expertise to help children understand, cope with, and master their medical experiences. In the NICU, Child life specialists are available to help siblings of infants in the unit. They organize activities, such as playing with toys, arts and crafts, video games, and computers, either on the unit or in one of the hospital’s Child Life Centers.
- Parents are encouraged to practice Kangaroo Care. Also called “skin-to-skin” care, Kangaroo Care helps parents to bond with their baby. To do this, a parent or family member holds the baby (in a diaper) against the bare skin of their chest, or between the mother’s breasts, with a blanket over the baby’s back to keep the baby warm. Skin contact help babies gain weight faster, reduces maternal depression, and further develops a mother-baby relationship. Kangaroo Care has also been shown to help premature infants grow, graduate from their incubators sooner, and achieve deeper, more restful sleep. Parents who routinely provide kangaroo care are more comfortable caring for their infants and are better prepared to take them home when the baby is ready to be discharged.
Our 24/7 transport service can arrange for the transfer of critically ill newborns to our NICU from referring hospitals via specially staffed and equipped vehicles. Doctors can arrange for the transport of an infant to the NICU by calling 1-800-NYP-STAT (1-800-697-7828).
NEWBORN (NEONATAL) CARE