Story by: Kim Huston on October 23, 2019
When planning a pregnancy and birth, parents may not imagine that their child will need a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). However, there are many reasons a child may need to be admitted to the NICU.
When a child is born, a team of caregivers checks that a baby’s vital signs such as heart rate, temperature, breathing and color are within normal ranges. Babies whose mothers have conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of drug use will need extra testing. After an examination, babies can be admitted to the NICU due to several circumstances and conditions.
Our two NICUs are dedicated to caring for babies born prematurely or in need of advanced care or surgery.
Norton Children’s has Level IV and Level III NICUs available to provide your child with the best care possible. A Level IV NICU provides the highest level of care possible for newborns — highly trained doctors, nurses and staff are available, as well as specialized equipment and tools to care for babies born prematurely or with special health conditions. Norton Children’s Hospital is home to the region’s only Level IV NICU. Pediatric surgeons and other providers repair complex congenital and acquired conditions. Approximately 1,300 newborns are treated annually at Norton Children’s Hospital. At the Level III NICU at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital in St. Matthews, neonatologists and other specialists care for 750 fragile newborns every year.
Each of our NICU nurseries has a highly trained team that includes: