Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


The Level III NICU

Operated in partnership with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center, the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is the lifeline for premature and critically ill newborns on the Central Coast.

The shared concept is, when infants need care, whenever possible, they should be kept close to home and their families. When more intensive critical care is necessary, infants are transferred to Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and often are transferred back to SVMHS NICU for continued care until discharged.

Each premature or seriously ill infant patient in our NICU has his or her own set of medical needs that sometimes require the participation of specialists in Pediatric Cardiology. Salinas Valley Memorial and Stanford University are now linked via a high-speed audio/video network. This link enables our Neonatologists to securely transmit the results of an infant's echocardiogram to a pediatric cardiologist at Stanford. With two-way, real-time video and audio communications, the physicians confer on the best course of care for each tiny patient.  The SVMH NICU also participates in the Vermont Oxford Network and California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative, a collection of health professionals dedicated to improving the medical care and outcomes of newborn infants and their families.

As part of the level III classification, transport of critically ill neonates into SVMH Level III NICU is jointly coordinated with the transport team at Lucile Packard Children Hospital., SVMHS purchased, with grants from the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, a mother/infant critical care transport vehicle. Called a NICU on wheels, the vehicle contains all of the equipment necessary to care for the baby and  in the near-future, will allow safe transport to the SVMH level III NICU for care.

Our 11-bed Level III NICU allows us to care for the most critically ill babies, including those who are premature, have a very low birth weight or are medically fragile. The new NICU isn't just designed for the babies, though, it's for their families, too.

Our family-centered care provides expanded visitation for siblings and other family members. This unit provides access for families not only to their babies, but to learning about their babies. We're sensitive to the need that parents should be fully informed and trained as they go along.

Family education includes classes, support groups and informative materials from outside sources such as Stanford. These are just a few of the advantages of this roomy, state-of-the-art NICU.

For consultation and assistance: (831) 755-0720 (NICU)