The Division of Neonatology is a Level III Regional Perinatal Center which provides highly specialized treatment to nearly 750 premature and critically ill newborns each year and receives referrals from more than 15 hospitals in New Jersey and surrounding states.
The neonatal team consists of 12 board-certified neonatologists, specially trained nurse practitioners and neonatal nurses, therapists, social workers and technologists who work together under the principles of family-centered care. Neonatologists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide care for these fragile newborns, meet with families and for consultations.
The NICU provides specialized care for newborns and offers New Jersey’s only Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy for infants in severe respiratory distress. As a modification of cardiopulmonary bypass, ECMO aids newborns who have not responded to usual therapies such as mechanical ventilation, drugs and surgery.
The NICU services include:
- Regional Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Apnea Program
- Jet and Oscillator Ventilation
- Nitric Oxide Treatments
- Neonatal Transport Team
- Comprehensive Parent Teaching Program
- Infant Massage
Our survival rates exceed those of national benchmarks. While our number of Low Birth Weight babies ranks amongst the highest percentiles nationally, our survivals are among the top quartile.
The Neonatal Transport Program safely transports critically-ill newborns to our center and back transports many to the originating Level II’s for recuperation. In 2004, 188 sick newborns were transported from outside institutions to our NICU for care. CHNJ continues to have one of the highest “back-transport” rates in the state. The transport team consists of a neonatologist and a registered neonatal nurse with special training in transport. An EMT is also part of the team. In 2004, five full-time transport nurses as well as a transport/ECMO coordinator were on staff. We are capable of transporting a newborn with inhaled Nitric Oxide therapy in progress.
To attain the best outcomes for our babies, the High Risk Infant Follow-up (HRIF) team of experts monitors and evaluates the growth and development of infants at risk. The team consists of neonatologists, a neurodevelopmentalist, a developmental psychologist, physical and occupational therapists, a neonatal nurse, social worker and an ophthalmologist. This same team follows the infant after discharge from the NICU. To ensure early identification of developmental delays and timely referrals to specialists, infants are seen at one, four, eight, 12 and 24 months. Babies treated with ECMO are followed to five years of age.