A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

How do you pick a NICU?

Baby sleeping in a nursery bed - NICU

Marshfield Children’s Hospital has a 24-bed Level III NICU to care for premature or ill newborn babies.

Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) provide specialized care to premature or ill newborn babies. Marshfield Children’s Hospital’s NICU is specially equipped to provide expert care for children in critical situations.

Which babies are treated in the NICU?

Hanna Rakovec, NICU nurse manager at Marshfield Children’s Hospital, said her department typically sees premature babies who were born less than 35 weeks into their mother’s pregnancy. They also treat babies who have diagnoses including, but not limited to, seizures, genetic conditions, persistent pulmonary hypertension, respiratory distress syndrome and transient tachypnea of the newborn.

Rakovec said babies who do not need immediate care and go home from the hospital but then return for treatment are generally seen in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) rather than the NICU.

What sets NICUs apart?

Rakovec said the NICU at Marshfield Children’s Hospital, which is a service of Marshfield Clinic Health System, is unique for many reasons.

“We have all the subspecialties available at our facility,” she said. Those subspecialties include providers in cardiology, neurology, oncology, pediatric surgery, genetics, ophthalmology and additional fields.

Rakovec said the 24-bed Level III NICU is staffed 24/7 with board-certified neonatologists and also has board-certified perinatologists on staff.

For transport to the NICU, Marshfield Children’s Hospital has a highly trained neonatal transport team.

“Aside from cardiac surgery and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (a treatment for heart-lung bypass support), we provide any service and have every technology a baby in our NICU could need,” Rakovec said.

Critical partnerships

Parents of babies in the NICU have the option of staying directly next door to the children’s hospital at Ronald McDonald House Charities while their child is in the hospital.

“We work very closely with Ronald McDonald House, which puts parents just steps away from the hospital and their babies,” Rakovec said.

Rakovec added that Marshfield Children’s Hospital is a Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospital. One way CMN supports the hospital’s NICU is by providing funding for equipment.

“This is an essential partnership for us,” Rakovec said. “For example, CMN provided funding for cameras at every patient bedside in the NICU so parents can see their babies remotely, when they cannot be at the hospital.”

Visit Marshfield Children’s Hospital NICU page for more information.

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