About the Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit

mother holding newborn The Harriet and Ronald Lassin Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a state-of-the-art intensive care unit that provides care for critically ill newborns and infants.

The N/IICU is a Level IV unit equipped with the latest technology and advances in neonatal medicine. For more than 50 years, we've cared for babies with all types of conditions and congenital malformations.

We provide care for neonates who need acute medical care, including multidisciplinary evaluations, complex surgical intervention, ECMO and special low-dose radiologic imaging. We also treat subspecialty patients who require the expertise of newborn intensive care staff and patients who are seeking second opinions.

About the N/IICU

With 95 beds and growing, our unit cares for more than 1,100 babies each year.

Our recently renovated and expanded N/IICU has a variety of amenities for the comfort and convenience of families, including:

  • Sleep chairs at each bedside for parents
  • Larger sleep and shower rooms for parents
  • Diurnal lighting to simulate the day-to-night cycle for your baby
  • Large family lounge with a kitchen, computers and sibling play area
  • Lactation services and private breastfeeding rooms with breast-milk refrigerators and freezers
  • Large consultation rooms for staff-family meetings

About our N/IICU team

The newborn care team provides care to babies in the unit 24 hours a day. Our team includes:

  • Physicians, including attending physicians, fellows and residents
  • Nurses, including neonatal nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, staff nurses, charge nurses and case managers
  • Clinical specialists in ECMO, respiratory care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, child life
  • Feeding and nutrition specialists, including dietitians and lactation specialists
  • Support service professionals, such as social workers and psychologists, who can help you and your family.

Teamwork in the NIICU

The nursing staff in the N/IICU is organized into teams that provide family-centered care for you and your child from admission through discharge.

The medical staff is also organized into teams, led by a senior neonatologist (a specialist in newborn intensive care). Fellows, pediatric residents, neonatal nurse practitioners and pediatricians work with the neonatologists on each team to provide care for 12-15 babies. One of the medical teams is devoted to the care of newborns requiring surgery, and specialized nurse practitioners and surgeons work with the neonatologists on this team.

Family support services

We know that having your baby transported to the N/IICU can be a stressful experience. To help you during this time, we offer a variety of support services:

  • Social workers in the N/IICU are available to help you with any emotional, financial or family concerns you may have.
  • Our chaplaincy service can assist you with your spiritual and emotional needs.
  • The Connelly Family Resource Center offers facilities and services to meet your special needs, including kitchen, laundry and sleeping facilities, staffed libraries for adults and children, computer availability, family coffee hours and more.
  • Our lactation specialists provide breastfeeding support and care.
  • A weekly support group helps mothers who are providing breast milk while their babies are in the hospital. This group meets on Thursday afternoons. Your baby's nurse can give you more information on meeting time and place.
  • A family consultant (who is the parent of a child who had a long stay in the N/IICU) offers parents advocacy, education and support. She hosts a weekly coffee hour 10:30-11:30 a.m. each Wednesday. It's a great way to take a short break from your child's bedside and talk to other parents who are dealing with similar stresses.

About the ITCU

The ITCU is an eight-bed intermediate unit for neonates who have undergone surgery, have recovered and are now stable enough that they no longer need to be in the intensive environment of the N/IICU. Babies transferred to this unit will still receive highly specialized care from the same expert neonatal team, but in a warmer, more comfortable space that offers parents the opportunity to be closer to and engage more with their child. Parents can hold, feed and care for their child in much the same way they will once their child is discharged home.

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