The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provides critical care to newborns who are ill or premature. Many factors may lead to a newborn being admitted to the NICU, including low birth weight or complications during delivery. The NICU staff works closely with parents to develop a treatment plan for their newborn.
Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Florida
There's nothing more beautiful than the first moment you get to hold your newborn child in your arms.
However, for some, that moment may not be able to happen right after birth. Although it’s something we know no parent ever wants to experience, we also know it's important to be prepared should your little one need extra care.
When is a newborn admitted to a NICU?
A NICU (sometimes referred to as an "intensive care nursery") is a specialized area of a hospital, usually connected to the labor and delivery unit. The NICUs at HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals are staffed by neonatal doctors and clinicians and equipped with specialized medical equipment, such as incubators. Your baby may need to be admitted to a NICU if they:
- Are born prematurely
- Experience complications from gestational diabetes
- Are born with certain birth defects or medical conditions
- Have had to undergo fetal or neonatal surgery
NICU levels and treatments
NICUs can range from Level I to Level IV (the highest level of care). NICU rankings are determined by several factors, from the age of babies treated to the type of training and outreach provided. We have Level II and Level III NICUs to ensure your infant receives the advanced care they need.
Level II NICU
A Level II NICU offers:
- Care for infants who are feeding and growing stronger after a stay in intensive care
- Care for premature infants as early as 32 weeks gestation and low birth-weight babies who are moderately ill
- Short-term mechanical ventilation or continuous positive airway pressure
Level III NICU
A Level III NICU offers:
- Care for premature infants as early as 32 weeks gestation and low birth-weight babies who are seriously ill
- Life-support equipment, including mechanical ventilation, to help your baby as long as needed before they can breathe and thrive on their own
- Neonatal staff available 24/7
Specialized NICU services and treatments
In addition to providing the lifesaving care your baby needs and deserves, our NICUs also offer special features. These ensure both mother and baby get the best possible start together.
These additional features and services may include:
- Private patient rooms
- Breast milk warmers at every newborn's bedside
- Comfortable recliners at every newborn's bedside
- Dedicated family waiting areas located directly outside the NICU
- In-room refrigerators for mothers to store and pump breast milk
- Nurse's station monitors at every newborn's bedside, for added safety
- Private family resource rooms for reading, meditation and family conferences with physicians
- Soft and indirect lighting to maintain a calm environment and reduce the risk of injury to newborns' eyes and brains
- Transition rooms for parents, which include private bathrooms, to allow parents to spend the night with their newborn while preparing to go home
Our NICU providers
Thanks to our extended network of care, we’re able to bring together top-notch teams of neonatal specialists. They work collaboratively, sharing insights and expertise with each other, to make sure your child receives the highest possible care.
Our NICU teams include:
- Lactation consultants
- Neonatal dietitians
- Physical therapists
- Respiratory therapists
- Speech therapists
- Support staff, including social workers and chaplains
Level III NICU Cares for Quadruplets following High-Risk Pregnancy
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