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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)



Our NICU Family Reunion
April 25, 2009

Our move to the new NICU Facilities
May 17, 2009

NICU Facilities Expansion
Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Washington, DC, which is the highest level designated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children’s NICU is a primary neonatal referral center for more than 40 hospitals throughout the region.

The Most Advanced Care for Our Smallest Patients
The NICU is associated with Children’s Division of Neonatology, ranked among the top ten programs of its kind by U.S.News & World Report.

The NICU provides advanced neonatal intensive care for critically ill infants and premature newborns up to 3 months of age. Our team coordinates all aspects of care for associated complications and conditions, including:

• Premature infants and all aspects of care for the premature infant
• Premature and term infants with respiratory distress/failure
• Sepsis or septic shock
• Coagulation defects
• Major surgical needs
• Congenital heart disease
• Major neurologic disorders including hydrocephalus, myelomeningocele and other disorders
• Genetic and/or metabolic disorders
• Renal disorders, including hydronephrosis, posterior urethral valves, renal failure, and others
• Gastrointestinal disorders

Specialized NICU programs ensure that every baby receives the most advanced care specific to the condition and infant:
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program
    A modified form of heart and lung bypass complemented by state-of-the art therapeutic programs for respiratory failure, including nitric oxide and high frequency ventilation
  • Neuroprotection Program
    Among the program’s services, the Neuroprotection program offers whole-body cooling for hypoxic brain injury
  • Neonatal Nutrition Program
    Two full-time neonatal nutrition experts work closely with the NICU medical team to evaluate all factors affecting the growth and nutrition of infants
  • Neonatal Pharmaceutical Monitoring Program
    The program manages a dedicated, full-time neonatal pharmacy
When your baby is ready to leave the NICU, the Neonatal High Risk Follow-up Clinic, headed by Penny Glass, PhD, evaluates NICU graduates in an outpatient setting.

Family-Centered Care
One of the major strengths of the NICU is the family-centered approach to care. The NICU Family-Centered Task Force collaborates with the NICU Parent Advisory Council to addresses the needs of our parents while their infant is in the NICU. Parents even helped to redesign our NICU, which opened in 2009.

Family-Centered features of Children’s NICU:

• Private patient rooms
• Rocking chairs
• Sleep rooms for parents with private bath, washer and dryer
• Soft lighting, a best practice in care for neonates
• Waiting areas for families and a sibling play zone

We encourage you to share immediate concerns with the staff and invite your feedback about your experience through the NICU parent satisfaction questionnaire.

Research at Children’s National
Linked with the highly technical and comprehensive care provided by Children’s medical team is an active research team of neonatologists, investigating treatments and disease states encountered in the newborn population. The combination of clinical and research efforts guarantees the highest level of care for newborn infants in the Washington, DC, region.

The Parent’s Letter Project
We recognize that when a child is ill, the entire family is affected. Children’s National created the Parent’s Letter Project for parents to help support each other by sharing their stories. Follow this link to read letters from parents of children in the NICU and a shared experience at Children’s National.
Did you know… All three of our Intensive Care Units (ICUs) received the Beacon Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)? The PICU and CICU are designated gold-level and honored with a 3-year designation. The NICU is designated silver-level and has a 2-year designation. The Beacon Award signifies exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall satisfaction. For our critical care nurses and clinical teams, the Beacon Award means a positive and supportive work environment with greater collaboration between colleagues and leaders, higher morale and lower turnover. Congratulations to all of our caregivers and leadership teams across our Intensive Care Units for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence.


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