Special Delivery Unit Newborn Stabilization and Resuscitation Team

The time immediately after a baby with a congenital anomaly (a condition diagnosed before birth) is born is critical.

During this time, these newborns can face significant challenges transitioning to the environment outside the mother’s womb, leading to the need for expert delivery room support.

At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), our unique Newborn Stabilization and Resuscitation Team is made up of a dedicated group of clinicians who are skilled in the delivery room care of high-risk babies with known congenital anomalies (both cardiac and non-cardiac). This expert team uses cutting-edge monitoring and state-of-the-art technology to evaluate every aspect of a baby’s health immediately after birth.

A dedicated team for your baby

The Newborn Stabilization and Resuscitation Team plays a critical role within the Richard D. Wood Jr. Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment (CFDT) and the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit (SDU) — the world’s first birthplace for babies with birth defects within a children’s hospital.

Together, our teams have provided more delivery room care for newborns with congenital anomalies than any other center in the world. We see a high volume of uncommon diagnoses every year. This prepares us to handle even the rarest conditions.

Our goal is to optimize care of the newborn immediately after birth to improve outcomes. Babies born with congenital anomalies are often very fragile after birth and need advanced care. If a baby is born at a hospital that doesn’t have an advanced NICU, they may need to be transported to another hospital for care, while their mother must stay in the birth hospital.

CHOP’s SDU brings together advanced neonatal and obstetric teams in one place, so babies don’t need to be transported to another hospital and separated from their mother. Babies born in the SDU receive care in the same hospital building, just a few floors away. This keeps families together and allows moms to actively participate in their baby’s care and decision making from day one.

What does the Newborn Stabilization and Resuscitation Team do?

Long before your baby is born, the Newborn Stabilization and Resuscitation Team partners with your maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist to learn every detail of your diagnosis and prepare for your baby’s special delivery. While mothers undergo labor and delivery, we are ready and waiting in the adjacent state-of-the-art stabilization suite to care for your baby the moment they are born.

Who will be involved in my baby’s care?

The Newborn Stabilization and Resuscitation Team is made up of a dedicated core team of neonatal experts who are thought leaders in their field. We work closely with maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists and obstetricians in the SDU to prepare for your baby’s arrival and provide comprehensive care in the critical time immediately after delivery.

In addition to the Newborn Stabilization and Resuscitation Team, world-renowned pediatric specialists are immediately available to assist your baby after birth in the stabilization suite. Your child’s care team may include:

  • Pediatric general, thoracic and fetal surgeons
  • Pediatric ENT (ear/nose/throat) surgeons, including advanced neonatal airway experts
  • Pediatric anesthesiologists
  • Neonatal specialists
  • Pediatric cardiac specialists: fetal heart, intensive care, echocardiography, electrophysiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac anesthesia
  • Pediatric radiologists
  • Specialists who can provide advanced vascular access with point-of-care ultrasound
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) specialists

Meet more of the people who may be involved in your baby’s care.

The presence of these specialists allows us to swiftly handle any care needs, without having to transport the newborn to another location within the hospital.

Cutting-edge care for your baby after delivery

We use cutting-edge monitoring, state-of-the-art technology and proven protocols starting immediately after birth to provide the best care for your newborn.

For example, we developed a next-generation approach to support teams in the delivery room. The approach uses unique digital systems to provide critical knowledge to the delivery room team to perfect the details of care in the first minutes after birth, when every moment matters. Every 2 minutes our team digitally records all health stats and steps that were taken in that time, data that goes right into a system allowing every member of your baby’s care team to know exactly what is happening and when.

What happens next?

Once stabilized in the SDU, the baby’s next destination is an intensive care unit:

Meet our team leaders

Medical Co-Directors
Natalie Rintoul, MD
Anne Ades, MD, MSEd

Principal Investigator
Elizabeth Foglia, MD, MA, MSCE

Nursing Team Leads
Lauren Heimall, MSN, RN
Kathleen Hughes-Abel, BSN, RNC
Emily Young

Respiratory Therapy Team Lead
Leane Soorikian, RRT, NPS

Advanced Practice Provider Team Leads
Sura Lee, MSN, CRNP
Melissa Duran, MSN, CRNP, NNP-BC
Kate Bordner, PA-C

Anna Bustin, PharmD, BCPPS

Learn more about our research