The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is an area of the hospital designed to meet the needs of babies who require specialized medical care. Sometimes, an NICU is called a special care nursery or newborn intensive care.
If your baby needs the NICU, Dignity Health doctors have the experience and technology you need. Chandler Regional and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center have neonatal intensive care units to care for the tiniest and sickest babies. If you would like to learn more about our neonatal intensive care units in Arizona, schedule a tour at one of our birthing centers, or register for birthing classes near you by calling (877) 728-5414.
Why NICU Care is Needed
Babies who have serious medical problems or are born early may need extra care to survive. Neonatal intensive care units are staffed by experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate health care providers and contain the equipment and machines necessary to support circulation, breathing, and other life functions.
Conditions commonly treated in the NICU include:
- Premature birth
- Serious infection
- Low blood sugar
- Severe jaundice
- Heart problems, including congenital heart disease, birth defects affecting the heart, heart valve problems, and abnormal heart rates
- Bleeding in the brain (i)ntraventricular hemorrhage
- Gastroschisis, a birth defect in which the intestines are on the outside of the body
- Breathing and lung problems, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, pneumonia, and persistent pulmonary hypertension
- Intrauterine growth restriction, which is when the baby does not grow at a normal rate during pregnancy (this) can result in an early delivery
What to Expect in the NICU at Dignity Health
It is common to feel overwhelmed and scared when your baby needs NICU care. The team of doctors, nurses, and technicians at Dignity Health hospitals provide supportive, personalized care to each infant. Health professionals you may meet in the NICU include:
- Medical specialists, including cardiologists, pulmonologists, and neurologists
- Neonatologists, who are physicians specializing in the care of sick and premature babies
- Lactation consultants
- Registered nurses
- Social workers and chaplains
- Respiratory therapists
- Physical and occupational therapists
- Speech-language pathologists who help babies with swallowing and feeding
Your child’s doctor will explain your baby’s needs and what you can do to help. Parents and family members are encouraged to participate in care as much as possible. The experience of having a child in the NICU can be very difficult. Every step of the way, our team at Dignity Health is available to answer your questions and provide emotional support.
Dignity Health provides compassionate, specialized care to babies in our neonatal intensive care unit in Arizona.