Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
The clinical activities of the faculty and staff of the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine are located in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital (YNHCH). The YNHCH NICU supports a high-risk obstetrical service and is one of only 2 level IV NICUs in the state of Connecticut. Every year, about 6,000 births occur at Yale New Haven Hospital with more than 900 newborns requiring admission to our NICU.
The NICU at YNHCH is a major referral center for newborns with complex medical and surgical conditions, providing on-site access to all pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists. Our transport team brings infants from hospitals throughout our region to our NICU for specialized services such as surgery, total body hypothermia for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, high frequency ventilation, inhaled nitric oxide, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for cardiorespiratory failure, advanced cardiac diagnosis and interventions including surgery for congenital heart disease and transcatheter closure of patent ductus arteriosus for very low birth weight infants, as well as rapid whole genome sequencing.
We care for newborn babies with a variety of problems including, but not limited to:
- Acquired and congenital neonatal infections, including COVID-19
- Anemia, jaundice, and other blood disorders requiring diagnosis and intervention, through collaboration with the Yale Center for Blood Disorders
- Cardiorespiratory failure, including the need for ECMO
- Congenital heart disease
- Extreme prematurity including neonates born at 22 weeks’ gestation
- Genetic conditions and metabolic disorders, including access to on-site rapid whole genome sequencing
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, including the need for total body hypothermia
- Problems of nutrition and growth
- Necrotizing enterocolitis
- Retinopathy of prematurity requiring laser therapy
The first NICU in the United States was built at Yale New Haven Hospital in 1960, and continuing in a long-standing history of innovation in patient and family-centered care, YNHCH opened a new, 68-bed state-of-the-art NICU in 2018, the largest NICU in Connecticut. Spanning the entirety of 2 floors in YNHCH, the NICU is comprised mostly of single patient rooms as well as 8 couplet rooms, making YNHCH the first academic medical center to offer simultaneous care of post-partum women and their newborns requiring intensive care within the same room. The NICU also contains a 24-hour pharmacy, a procedure room, a milk room which stores and dispenses breast milk and infant formulas to the bedside, a simulation and education room for staff and community providers and, opening in 2020, a neonatal MRI. Each NICU room allows the ability to not only care for the most complex of medical and surgical conditions, but offers privacy and the ability for families to remain at their newborn’s bedside and to be involved in their care throughout the NICU stay.