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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at West Penn Hospital

The Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at West Penn Hospital has been a major regional referral center for critically ill infants for many years, providing the highest level of medical care available. Every year, our neonatal transport team transfers about 250 infants to West Penn from community hospitals in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. This represents one in every two babies transferred for neonatal care.

Highly skilled nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners, physician assistants, neonatal respiratory therapists, and a physician staff of board-certified neonatologists provide in-house care for sick newborns 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

This program also provides prenatal consultations for high-risk obstetrics patients, along with consults with a variety of highly skilled pediatric specialists in pediatric cardiology, neurology, infectious diseases, endocrinology and orthopaedics.

The unique 'pod' design of this unit, complimented by indirect lighting, allows for the most individualized approach to care and treatment possible to promote the healing and growing process.

Family members, including both parents and siblings, are encouraged to visit the babies at any time during the day or night and participate in their care. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies, and the staff advocates soothing skin-to-skin contact between premature babies and their parents to promote healing, growth and bonding.

West Penn Hospital also offers the area’s first Infant Apnea Center to evaluate, manage and monitor babies and young children at risk for life-threatening events.

A Neonatal Developmental Follow-up Program consisting of an infant developmental specialist, a neonatologist, a physical therapist and a social worker assesses the development of NICU graduates and offers support to their families for up to two years.