The NICU at The Children's Hospital of Alabama is a Level III, 30 bed unit that includes 4 ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) beds, the only ECMO beds in the state.
Our patients are referred in from other hospitals for subspecialty care, with diagnoses that include Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN); gastroschisis, omphalocele, neural tube defects, other congenital anomalies, Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), management of Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). These infants frequently require management of mechanical ventilation, multiple intravenous fluid and drug administration, monitoring of cardiovascular status, and thermoregulation. Support of family structures including stress management, grief support, enhancement of coping skills is also provided.
An all RN staff, is especially skilled in the assessment and treatment of infants with complex, multisystem dysfunction. The nurse to patient ratio is usually 1:2, although occasionally, depending on the acuity of the patient, the ratio may be 1:1. The nursing staff works closely with the medical team which includes neonatologists, surgeons, neonatal nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, and social workers.