CARING FOR FRAGILE NEWBORNS
Operated in partnership with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford,
the Level III Norman P. Andresen, MD Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is a lifeline for
premature and critically ill newborns on the Central Coast.
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. We believe having parents close by is beneficial
for the baby and reassuring for mom and dad. However, when even more intensive
critical care is necessary, we transfer infants to Lucile Packard Children's
Hospital Stanford. Once they grow bigger and stronger, the little ones
are transferred back to the Norman P. Andresen, MD 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. If a pediatric cardiologist is needed, Salinas
Valley Memorial and Stanford University are linked via a high-speed audio/video
network. This allows our Neonatologists to securely transmit the results
of an infant's echocardiogram to a pediatric cardiologist at Stanford.
Using two-way, real-time video and audio communications, our physicians
confer with their Stanford colleagues to determine the best course of
care for each tiny patient. Our 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.
THE NICU ON WHEELS
The ability to transport critically ill newborns is one of the requirements
for classification as a Level III NICU. Transportation of these fragile
babies is jointly coordinated between our NICU and the transport team
at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. Thanks to grants from
the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, we were able to purchase
a specialized mother/infant critical care transport vehicle called a “NICU
on wheels.” This extraordinary vehicle contains all of the equipment
necessary to care for an infant during transport.
EDUCATION AND SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES
We understand how emotionally difficult having a newborn in intensive care
can be for every member of the immediate family, including siblings and
grandparents. That’s why we offer expanded visitation for siblings
and other family members. Our concern for the newborns we care for does
not stop once they leave the hospital. We do all we can to keep parents
informed and teach them at-home care for a fragile baby with special needs.
Family education includes classes, support groups and informative materials
from outside sources such as Stanford.
For consultation and assistance, please call (831) 755-0720 (NICU).
PATIENT STORY: HEAR HOW THE LEVEL III NICU MADE A DIFFERENCE FOR BABY CHRISTOPHER.