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).