Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)
Ready for the “what if”- close to home
As you prepare for your baby’s arrival, you might be concerned about the possibility of a high-risk or preterm birth.
With the newly-expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Owensboro Health, you can rest assured that we’re ready for the “what-ifs” that might occur in the delivery room.
The NICU at Owensboro Health accommodates up to seven babies born as early as 28 weeks and weighing as little as 1250 grams (2.75 pounds). Instead of being transferred miles away to Louisville or Evansville, most premature newborns can be cared for close to home – with the same level of care.
The NICU at Owensboro Health – a partnership with University of Louisville Healthcare and Kosair Children's Hospital – is currently led by Bridget Burshears, MD. Our staff includes neonatology specialists and nurse practitioners working together to provide on-site care 24 hours a day.
All Owensboro Health nurses in the Nursery, NICU, Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby units are experts in caring for premature infants, with certification in neonatal resuscitation. The Nursery staff receives extensive hands-on training, including the STABLE program, at Kosair Children's Hospital.
We’re also proud to be a member of the Vermont Oxford Network, a non-profit voluntary collaboration of health care professionals dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families
Our newly-expanded NICU features some of the most advanced technology available, giving parents peace of mind that their baby will receive top-quality care.
Our team is equipped and prepared to respond to newborn medical conditions and needs, including ventilator support, special umbilical catheters, cardiac and respiratory monitoring, and diagnostic testing.
Of special note are the state-of-the-art Giraffe® OmniBed incubators that simulate the womb experience. We also participate in the University of Louisville Health Care remote presence robot network, linking patients to pediatric subspecialists through a secure Internet connection.
Our early arrivals have unique needs, and the NICU offers special programming designed to stimulate healthy development.
Our developmental care plan means infants are surrounded by a soft, soothing environment. Dim lighting, low noise, and lots of soft, cushiony objects comfort and nurture your baby.
We also promote skin-to-skin contact through our Kangaroo Care program, encouraging parent-child bonding through the special power of touch. Both babies and parents (including dads) can benefit from Kangaroo Care, so be sure to ask your NICU nurse, nurse practitioner, or neonatologist about the program.
Have questions or need more information? Find more details below about neonatal care at Owensboro Health, or call 270-688-2351.
Frequently asked questions about neonatal intensive care
What is neonatology?
Neonatology is the subspecialty of pediatrics that includes the medical care of newborns requiring specialized treatment due to conditions such as premature birth or low birth weight.
What does a neonatologist do?
Neonatologists often attend special deliveries of babies and provide care to infants who require a higher level of attention than most newborns.
Neonatologists may also attend c-sections, deliveries when the baby is in distress, or when an obstetrician has other concerns.
What is a neonatal nurse practitioner?
A neonatal nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a master’s degree who participates in the care of the newborn under the direct supervision of a neonatologist.
How small are the babies in the NICU?
The NICU at Owensboro Health is licensed to care for infants weighing at least 2.75 pounds and born at 28 weeks or more. Smaller or higher-risk babies are usually transferred to St. Mary's in Evansville.
Why do premature babies need a separate unit?
The NICU at Owensboro Health has unique capabilities for managing illnesses and medical conditions for babies who require advanced care, including low birth weight infants.
Special treatments and technology include special umbilical catheters, breathing with the assistance of a ventilator and the ability to provide specialized intravenous (IV) medications.
What is a Giraffe® OmniBed?
It’s a state-of-the-art incubator that simulates the womb experience for the newborn. Features include:
- Rotating, pressure-diffusing mattress for soft support and easier positioning for all types of procedures
- Large, drop down, removable doors and centralized control screen placement for quick and easy patient access from either side of the bed.
- Elevating base with a broad adjustable range to ensure a comfortable working height for procedures or family interaction.
Learn more about the Giraffe® OmniBed
What is kangaroo care?
Kangaroo care is the practice of holding newborns skin-to-skin to help the infant maintain body temperature, regulate heart and breathing rates, gain weight and sleep better. It’s recommended for all babies, but especially for preemies in the NICU.
Kangaroo care, named for the similarity to how certain marsupials carry their young, was initially developed to care for preterm infants in areas where incubators are either unavailable or unreliable.
Source: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_care