About the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital Colorado
Children's Hospital Colorado provides expertise, compassion and support to help you achieve the best possible outcomes for your newborn, you and your family.
For more than 40 years, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Colorado has been a nationally recognized leader in the treatment of critically ill infants. Our state-of-the-art facility provides 84 critical care beds forinfants up to 3 months of age, and is designated a Level IV NICU, the highest distinction granted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Our NICU treats nearly 900 infants each year from Denver, surrounding areas in Colorado and a 10-state area, and is the only NICU in the region with the experience and technology to treat virtually any medical condition affecting newborns. Our doctors have pioneered many critical developments in neonatal care and in many cases were the first in the world to use new therapies, including:
- Surfactant replacement for premature babies’ lungs
- Inhaled nitric oxide therapy for pulmonary hypertension
- Brain cooling for perinatal brain injury
- Inhaled nitric oxide to prevent premature lung disease
- Optimal nutritional strategies for low birth weight babies
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado?
We are committed to providing family-centered care. The best outcome for your child will be achieved by families and healthcare professionals working together as partners. In this relationship,each partner values communication, accountability, respect and a supportive environment. Parents participate in daily rounds with the medical team, and are important members of each baby’s care team.
Our NICU is designed to provide a home-like setting, so you can be by your new baby’s side 24 hours a day. Our NICU supports your new baby in a healing environment by using sophisticated technology such as specialized flooring that reduces noise, acoustic ceiling tiles, indirect lighting to promote healthy brain development, and spacious private rooms for each infant. Our NICU rooms are private, setting us apart from other high level NICUs in the region. We also encourage siblings and family members to visit. View a typical NICU patient room.
The staff in the NICU includes a diverse and highly experienced group of professionals.
- Our 23 board-certified neonatologists are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in neonatal care and clinical and scientific research. They are present in the NICU 24 hours a day to care for your child.
- Our neonatal nurse practitioners and nurses hold advanced nursing degrees.
- Children's Colorado’s NICU is the first in the nation to be named a Center of Excellence for Neonatal Services by United Resource Networks (URN).
- We train the next generation of leaders in neonatology through our competitive fellowship program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine.
Specific conditions treated
- Respiratory failure
- Newborn brain injuries
- Congenital anomalies (birth defects)
- Premature infants
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Lactation services for new mothers
Services offered at Children's Hospital Colorado NICU
We provide the highest level of neonatal care, with all available therapies onsite.
Neonatal ECMO (ExtracorporealMembrane Oxygenation) Program – Since 1988, our Neonatal ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Program has provided sophisticated respiratory and cardiac support to nearly 150 of our sickest babies. We are one of fewer than 100 such programs nationally, and Children's Colorado was designated a national ECMO Center of Excellence in 2012.
Brain cooling for perinatal brain injury – We are one of the most experienced NICUs in the nation providing this important therapy to improve neurologic outcomes for babies born with brain injuries.
Sophisticated approach to severerespiratory failure – Experienced physicians with special expertise in complex ventilator management, including High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation, Inhaled Nitric Oxide and ECMO.
Neonatal surgical team – A multidisciplinary team including Pediatric Surgeons and Neonatologists works together to provide care to infants with complex surgical needs utilizing the latest in surgical and ICU care.
Neonatal dialysis program - Team approach to the care of infants with kidney failure or rare inherited metabolic conditions requiring peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis. Children's Hospital Colorado is the only center in the region offering this therapy.
Specialized neonatal critical care transport team (Flight for Life)
Lactation services for new, breastfeeding mothers
On-site pediatric subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists
Our neonatal team partners with our experienced experts in virtually every pediatric and surgical sub-speciality, who are available on-site to provide care for any neonatal problem. This includes several multidisciplinary specialty teams that work within the NICU:
- Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Team - A comprehensive approach to CDH management, beginning at the time of diagnosis, and providing one of the best success rates in the nation for CDH survival
- Pulmonary Hypertension Team - Multidisciplinary team approach to inpatient management of pulmonary hypertension, as well as followup after discharge home
- Chronic Ventilator Care Program - Care of infants with a need for prolonged or complex ventilatory support)
- Short Bowel Program - Long-term management program for infants with severe intestinal and nutritional complications
- Neonatal Stroke Team - for the evaluation and management of newborns diagnosed with stroke or brain injury)
- Dedicated NICU support services including neonatal pharmacist, nutritionists, social workers, case manager, occupational, speech and physical therapists.
Comprehensive care and treatment for high-risk and routine pregnancies
The Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health offers mothers, babies and their families comprehensive care and treatment before, during and after high-risk or routine pregnancies. This partnership integrates adult and pediatric specialists from Children’s Colorado, the University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Colorado School of Medicine into one team with five core specialties (Obstetrics, Maternal Fetal Medicine, the Colorado Fetal Care Center, Neonatology and Fetal Cardiology) to coordinate care before your baby is even born. For more information about the Institute’s services, teams and approach to care, visit the Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health website.