Akron Children's Neonatology department offers intensive care to sick and premature newborns. Read More...
Our neonatologists, pediatric surgeons and surgical subspecialists provide the highest level of intensive care for our youngest patients. Among the common prenatal conditions we treat are breathing, intestinal and surgical problems, congenital heart defects, prematurity and very low birth weight.
Our neonatal expertise also expands beyond our Women's Board of Akron Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Kay Jewelers Pavilion on our hospital campus in downtown Akron. We also own and operate NICUs at Akron General Medical Center, Summa Akron City Hospital and St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, as well as special care nurseries at our Beeghly campus hospital and St. Joseph Warren Hospital.
In addition to the most advanced neonatal care, we're also committed to providing parents with the emotional and practical support they need through parent mentors and lactation consultants.
Akron Children’s NICU provides a quiet and nurturing environment that closely mimics the womb with subdued lighting and noise; slow, gentle motions when treating preemies; and swaddling to provide a sense of security and flexion.
Research studies show that these developmental care practices result in:
Once settled in the unit, your baby will receive care tailored to his specific needs. Most NICU babies are on special feeding schedules, depending on their level of development or problems they have.
Medications are also important. For example, your newborn may take antibiotics, medicine to stimulate breathing, or something to help her blood pressure or heart rate.
To ensure your baby's care stays on track, our neonatologists will order various tests, possibly including blood and urine tests, X-rays and ultrasounds.
For infants whose care is complicated and involved, our doctors or nurses will place a line into an artery or vein so they can draw blood without having to repeatedly stick the baby. Our NICU staff works hard to make your infant’s stay in the nursery as comforting as possible.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Our NICU nurses can explain what all of the monitors, tubes, tests, and machines do.
Research, education and quality improvement projects are integral to Akron Children's department of Neonatology. We evaluate neonatal patient outcomes and benchmark our results against other neonatal intensive care units across the U.S. and Canada.
Akron Children's Hospital is a member of the Vermont Oxford Network, a data-sharing collaboration of neonatal professionals worldwide. We are one of only 12 centers to be part of the network's quality improvement initiative called, "Your Ideal NICU."
One initiative that came from "Your Ideal NICU" is cue-based feeding, which reduces hospital stays and lessens feeding issues. This initiative set standards for how premature babies are transitioned from tube feedings to bottle.
Oxygen therapy is another advancement. Neonatologists now know that more oxygen is not better with premature infants. Following a model called POLAR (preemie oxygen levels are reviewed), infants who weigh less than 1500 grams and are on a ventilator get the least amount of oxygen.
POLAR has been found to reduce risks associated with chronic lung disease and a potentially blinding disorder, known as retinopathy of prematurity.
Other initiatives are less high tech, but equally proven. Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin contact between parent and newborn, has been found to stabilize vital signs, such as heart and respiratory rates, and lessen the need for oxygen, while also encouraging bonding.
We know how frightening it is to have a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit. We hope you find these articles helpful.
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