Children's Hospital Colorado

Neonatology Healthcare Professional Resources

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Neonatology education videos

Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has been recognized as a national leader for more than 50 years. In an effort to continue that leadership, we’re sharing medical education videos on a number of topics from new discharge techniques to opioid-exposed newborns to telehealth and much more.

We want to help spread the cutting-edge research our providers are conducting beyond our walls so it benefits newborns across the world. Watch the videos below from the neonatal experts at Children’s Hospital Colorado to learn about some of the latest findings in neonatology.

Supporting Preemie Respiratory Outcomes (SPROUT) team in the NICU

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is a breathing disorder common in premature newborns, with the most serious cases requiring mechanical ventilation. However, some newborns may develop severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) due to being on prolonged mechanical ventilation.

In this video, Erica Mandell, DO, explains the complex pulmonary mechanics of infants with prolonged ventilation needs and shows how infants with RDS can progress to severe BPD. Dr. Mandell also explains how ventilator strategies change as the disease evolves from RDS to severe BPD and provides ventilator strategies to support infants at the highest risk of developing severe BPD, including support for prolonged hospital stays from the multidisciplinary SPROUT team.

Marijuana and breastfeeding: a study on the persistence of THC in human breast milk

As legalization of marijuana across the U.S. increases, the concern for vulnerable populations like pregnant and postpartum mothers continues to rise. Studied originally in the 1980s, perinatal exposure to marijuana data shows long-term cognitive effects in school-aged children through adolescence. Since then, research on marijuana and breastfeeding has been limited.

National guidelines recommend abstinence from marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation, with limited data regarding the presence of THC in breast milk. Maya Bunik, MD, Medical Director, Child Health Clinic and Erica Wymore, MD, a neonatologist at Children’s Colorado discuss their recent breastfeeding and marijuana research study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study aimed to analyze the amount and duration of THC excretion in breast milk from 2016 to 2019. Together they discuss the history of perinatal marijuana use, THC metabolism, study findings and future research initiatives.

Neonatal telemedicine at Children’s Colorado

Telehealth adoption in neonatology is a very recent phenomenon in the United States. For the past few years, however, Children’s Colorado has been providing telehealth opportunities to improve the care of neonates and other patients who need neonatal and pediatric expertise throughout Colorado and regionally.

In this video, neonatologist Jeanne Zenge, MD, explains the telehealth services our NICU providers have offered for a few years now. Children’s Colorado has the capability to provide HIPAA-compliant video contact between long-distant family members and NICU patients through Baby Chat. Other services include telehealth sessions between NICU providers and family members, tele-discharge sessions between NICU providers, primary care providers and parents, as well as teleconsultations between neonatologists and community providers.

Safe hospital discharge for opioid-exposed newborns

Discharge of any infant exposed to prescribed or illicit substances should include careful planning and involvement of a multidisciplinary team. These infants are at high risk for attachment disorder, neurodevelopmental and behavioral issues and safety concerns due to potential drug-seeking behaviors of their parents.

In the following video, Susan Hwang, MD, discusses discharge guidelines that meet the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) goals for hospital-to-home transition. These guidelines help to ensure the safe discharge of an opioid-exposed newborn to the home of individuals with a history of substance abuse. Learn about the different methods for testing the readiness of a newborn for discharge and how to ensure safety after discharge.

New approaches to the care of opioid-exposed newborns

In the last few years, there has been a drastic increase in the number of women of reproductive age and pregnant women suffering from opioid use disorders. This has led to an increase in the number of infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome due to fetal opioid exposure.

In this video, neonatologist Susan Hwang, MD, discusses recent changes in the care of opioid-exposed newborns, such as promoting rooming in, optimizing non-pharmacologic care, using opioid therapy only as needed, applying consistent criteria for assessing breastfeeding eligibility and the Eat, Sleep, Console (ESC) Assessment Tool. Dr. Hwang also discusses the Colorado Hospital Substance Exposed Newborn Quality Improvement Collaborative (CHoSEN), which was formed in response to the variations in opioid-exposed newborn care across hospitals.

Learn more about the recent advances in this field to help safely transition opioid-exposed newborns from hospital to home.

Parental engagement in the care of substance-exposed newborns

Ensuring that parents are at the center of their infant’s care from prenatal counseling through hospitalization to discharge home is key to the successful care of their substance-exposed newborn. In this video, Stephanie Bourque, MD, explains the key components of parental engagement, which include use of the Eat, Sleep, Console (ESC) Tool, a focus on non-pharmacological care and when appropriate, encouraging breastfeeding.

Dr. Bourque explains the recommended two-tiered approach related to pharmacological interventions. She also discusses techniques for mom-baby bonding and what research has shown about these techniques.

Infant Action Plan: When and How to Use It

Most babies who have a prenatal diagnosis will need follow-up care or a consultation after they’re born. That’s why we created the Infant Action Plan, which is a tool families and referring providers can use to plan and schedule all the necessary care their baby will need after delivery.

In this video, Shelly Whitmore, manager of physician relations, and Nicholas Behrendt, MD, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at the Colorado Fetal Care Center, describes what the Infant Action Plan is and how providers can use this resource with their patients. Together, they explain the advantages of using this tool and provide an example of how having a plan in place is invaluable.