The birth of a child is one of the most exciting times of parents’ lives. While most parents do everything they can to ensure their child is born healthy, problems sometimes arise that require a newborn to remain hospitalized longer than expected. That’s where the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital comes in.
The NICU is the area of the hospital where sick babies, especially those who are premature, receive specialized treatment for infections, birth defects, breathing difficulties, growth restriction, and maternal health problems. In addition to premature and low-birth-weight babies, sicker full-term babies in the NICU can be treated for a variety of conditions, including anemia, jaundice, seizures, low blood sugar, brain bleeds, heart problems, or breathing difficulties. Respiratory difficulties are common in the smallest of infants. Once an infant enters a NICU, he or she will receive care tailored to their specific needs. Equipment used in NICUs, such as incubators and ventilators, are made especially for premature infants and their special needs.
Our NICU is equipped to handle difficult neonatal emergencies and is staffed with highly skilled health care professionals trained to care for the specific needs of neonatal patients. As a Level III facility, the neonatologists on the medical staff and the nursing staff are prepared to care for some of the sickest, tiniest of babies. Infants often will have multiple doctors assisting with their medical care, and specialists—such as neurologists, cardiologists, and surgeons—are available to consult as the need arises.
Our NICU features 23 special care (Level III) nursery beds which are CCS Certified. The unit is a controlled access department designed to ensure the safety and privacy of newborn patients and their families.
Children who are born prematurely or have required neonatal intensive care may be at risk for issues such as respiratory problems, cognitive delay, speech or hearing impairment, orthopedic problems or other concerns. The early detection of developmental delays and referral for treatment helps babies reach their full potential.
Our NICU includes a High Risk Infant Follow Up Program to provide developmental assessment and follow up for up to 3 years for infants who meet certain criteria upon discharge from our NICU. Criteria may include premature birth, low birth weight, low Apgar Scores, birth trauma with developmental delays or other qualifying conditions.
A multidisciplinary team addresses the medical, nutritional, neurological, developmental and social needs of these tiny patients. This team is certified in caring for high-risk and premature infants. Clinic assessments are conducted at 4-6 months, 9-12 months and 18-36 months by a neonatal physician specialist, a developmental specialist and a neonatal nurse. Other ancillary service specialists such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, Social Worker, or Registered Dietician may also be involved.
If the High Risk Infant Follow Up Program is recommended for your child, your first appointment for the clinic will be made through the NICU prior to discharge. Your nurse will make sure you know how to access the clinic before you and your baby go home.
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