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Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Winthrop-University Hospital’s New Life Center on Long Island provides state-of-the-art facilities for babies born preterm or with medical conditions that may or may not require surgery.

World-Class Neonatal ICU

Winthrop’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is internationally recognized for our class-leading outcomes in both overall survival and survival without complications in extremely premature babies when compared to over 800 neonatal intensive care units around the world. The survey was conducted by the Vermont Oxford Registry Network (VON), a highly-respected authority for the measurement of care and outcomes for high-risk infants.

Our Neonatal ICU is a special nursery for babies born prematurely or with other medical problems, such as breathing disorders, infections or conditions requiring surgery. Babies may remain in the unit until they are discharged home or transferred to the regular nursery.

State-of-the-Science Technology

One of the most advanced facilities of its kind, Winthrop’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is equipped to care for babies with problems that require the use of the most sophisticated technology and possible surgical intervention. Special equipment is used to observe and monitor the babies closely, as well as to provide the correct balance of warmth, nourishment and, if necessary, oxygen in amounts carefully tailored to the special needs of each baby.

Babies in the NICU may require special monitoring and close observation for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Baby Is Preterm – Born before 37 weeks gestation, premature babies need to grow before they can go home. They often have more than one problem, such as breathing and feeding issues, because their systems are immature.
  • Baby is Term – Born between 37 and 42 weeks gestation, term babies may have breathing problems, infections, seizures, feeding difficulties or heart problems, all requiring special care.
  • Baby is Post-Term – Born later than 42 weeks gestation, post-term babies may require special care for rapid breathing, possible infection or seizures.

Neonatal ICU Professional Team

Winthrop's team of specially trained NICU physicians, nurses and technicians care for the babies 24 hours a day. The team includes:

  • Attending Neonatologists – Physicians trained in pediatrics with additional specialized training in newborn infant care.
  • Neonatal Fellows – Pediatric physicians undergoing specialized training in newborn infant care
  • Pediatric Residents – Pediatric physicians in training to specialize in the care of infants and children
  • Nurse Practitioners – Registered Nurses with an advanced degree and are licensed to perform medical procedures
  • Registered Nurses – Professional nurses with additional specialized training in the care of premature and sick infants.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists – Registered nurses with advanced degrees who are responsible for teaching parents and other nurses.
  • Respiratory Therapists – Specially trained to care for babies who require oxygen or a respirator.
  • And a support team of physical therapists, social workers, discharge planning nurses, laboratory technicians and X-ray technicians.

Baby’s Diet in NICU

We encourage breastfeeding since it is beneficial to the babies as well as the mothers. Our Certified Lactation Consultant will answer your breastfeeding questions. If it’s not possible to breastfeed because your baby may not be ready to feed, you can pump your milk and it will be fed by tube or bottle to your baby. Special infant formulas can be used if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed.

Kangaroo Care

Babies have special needs while in the Neonatal ICU, including the need to have contact with you once he/she is medically stable. Kangaroo care was specifically designed for sick infants requiring long-term hospitalization because these infants are unable to be fed or held by their parents. Kangaroo Care involves placing your diaper clad infant in an upright position on your chest for "skin to skin" contact, a process with many proven benefits for both parent and baby.

Discharge

Your baby will be discharged from the NICU when he/she is healthy and all medical problems have been cleared. The nurses will teach you how to care for your baby. Written discharge instructions will be provided upon discharge. Parents are encouraged to attend the scheduled Baby Care Class and Infant CPR Class. A discharge planning nurse provides written discharge instructions upon discharge and will assist in planning for any special needs. The Neonatal Collaborative Follow-up Program is also available, if needed.

Support for Parents

Parents' special needs are also considered, because we are keenly aware of the impact that a seriously ill newborn can have on the entire family. In addition to our Maternal Child Care educational programs, Winthrop offers a Parent Support Group as well as individual counseling provided by a social worker or psychologist through our Support Service Program.

Visiting Policy

Parents are encouraged to visit their babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as often as possible to get to know them and be involved in their care. Sibling visits may be arranged through the NICU Nurse Manager. However, there are certain times and circumstances when visitation is limited. Please call (516) 663-2406 for more information.