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Neonatology

Our 45-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the latest diagnostics and treatment options for very small and sick infants. The region’s most advanced neonatal intensive care unit.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The birth of a baby should be an exciting and joyful time, but sometimes unexpected and serious complications arise, requiring specialized care. Our 45-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the latest diagnostics and treatment options for very small and sick infants.

Neonatology at UVA

We are:

  • The region’s most advanced neonatal intensive care unit.
  • One of the few hospitals in Virginia to offer pediatric heart surgery for congenital heart disease.
  • The only hospital in Virginia to offer ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) to support heart and lung function in infants with cardiorespiratory failure.

Our neonatology care team includes:

  • Neonatologists (pediatricians with additional training and certification in newborn intensive care)
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Occupational and physical therapists
  • Infant educators
  • Breastfeeding consultants
  • Social workers

ECMO

We are the only hospital in Virginia to offer ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) to support heart and lung function in infants with cardiorespiratory failure. Babies showing no improvement on a respiratory ventilator may benefit from the procedure, which works much like a heart-lung bypass machine. During the procedure, the baby’s blood is filtered through the ECMO machine, which puts oxygen into the blood and returns it to the body. That oxygenated blood is pumped by the heart into the body’s other organs and tissues.

Newborn Emergency Transport System (NETS)

As home to the region’s most advanced neonatal intensive care unit, we often get referrals of premature or critically ill infants who were born at other hospitals throughout Virginia, West Virginia and other states. Our Newborn Emergency Transport System (NETS), staffed with medics, nurses and respiratory therapists, transports these tiny patients by ground or air to UVA for specialized care in the NICU.

Discovering New Treatments

We are leaders in driving changes to neonatal care, conducting extensive basic scientific research projects and clinical research trials on our littlest patients. Our dedication to improving care for premature and critically ill newborns helps give our patients the best outcomes possible.

Parenting in the NICU

The birth of a new baby is an exciting time for every family. But when a baby is born prematurely or with serious medical complications, parents often feel helpless, overwhelmed, and anxious.

At UVA, parents are a valuable member of their baby’s health care team. We welcome their suggestions and ideas about the care of their baby. Get suggestions on parenting a baby in the NICU.

Care Under One Roof

Did You Know?

UVA has a comprehensive Fetal Heart Program.

That means moms with at-risk babies can deliver in the same hospital where their babies will receive care.

Invention Helps Preemies

Thanks to a heart monitor invented at UVA, doctors can detect early warning signs for infection in preemies. Find out more.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is important babies, particularly for premature and sick infants who receive numerous health benefits from their mother’s breastmilk. Even moms who don’t plan to breastfeed are encouraged to pump breastmilk, which has healing qualities that are unmatched by formula.

Some of the benefits of breastmilk include:

  • Promotes growth
  • Digested easily, promoting the maturation of baby’s gastrointestinal system
  • Provides antibodies and other immune properties that help reduce the risk of infection
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