Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

About Us/Survival Rates

Since 1978, the Saint Barnabas Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has been providing specialized care for New Jersey’s smallest and sickest babies. As a level III Regional Perinatal Center, the NICU offers the latest treatments and modalities in the field to provide the most advanced care for more than 1,200 premature and ill newborns each year.

The Saint Barnabas NICU has one of the best infant survival rates among neonatal intensive care units in the nation. In fact, babies that are born at Saint Barnabas Medical Center 17 weeks early have twice the survival rate of those born at other hospital in the Vermont Oxford Network, a group comprised of more than 800 hospitals nationally and internationally.

Mothers who are at high risk for complications during pregnancy come to Saint Barnabas Medical Center for our specialized prenatal care and take comfort in the fact that, if their baby needs special care after birth, our NICU is among the best in the country and is equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of problems.

What is unique about the NICU is the quality of care it delivers

When a premature infant enters the world at Saint Barnabas, he or she immediately receives medical care by an attending neonatologist in the delivery room and later in the NICU. There are neonatologists in-house at all times (eight in the day time and two at night) ready to deliver the best possible medical care. As a result, the survival rate of the smallest and sickest babies is high and the morbidity rate is low compared to national and international data.

Under the direction of dual board-certified neonatologists and staffed by specialized neonatal intensive care nurses, the NICU Team works together to meet the common goal of providing safe, quality care. Specialists in other pediatric subspecialties are available for prompt consultation and care, as are physical therapists, social workers, respiratory therapists and pharmacists. Parents are encouraged to participate in their baby's care.

A team of social workers meet with each NICU family and offers a variety of family-centered programming, including a NICU Support Group. Following discharge, high-risk NICU babies are seen on an outpatient basis by the neonatologists in the High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Program. A developmental psychologist is also on staff for follow-up of overall developmental status.

To learn more about the NICU, watch the NICU Videos.

Vermont Oxford Network

Each month, VON-member hospitals report their mortality and morbidity data (60 items) for each patient to the central office. In return, the office sends to each individual hospital a detailed quarterly report comparing the performance of each individual hospital. As a result, member hospitals have a benchmark of data to compare and each NICU strives to be the best performer among the network hospitals. The Saint Barnabas NICU consistently ranks high in comparison to the other network hospitals. In fact, research shows that babies born at Saint Barnabas Medical Center 17 weeks early have twice the survival rate of those born at other hospital in the Vermont Oxford Network.

In addition to being an active member of VON, the Saint Barnabas NICU has participated in the National-Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Collaborative for Neonatology since 1999. This Collaborative consists of an elite group of 53 VON member hospitals that work closely together to develop potentially better practices using an evidence-based approach. The collaboration helps improve quality of care and the outcomes of survivors.

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