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The Level II NICU at St. Francis Medical Center

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a special nursery where we care for newborns who are born early (prematurely) or experience complications shortly after birth. Having a baby in the NICU can be scary, but when you come to St. Francis, you are placing your baby in expert hands.

St. Francis is home to one of the few Level II NICUs in southeast Los Angeles County. We offer a large team of specialists dedicated to caring for sick newborns. We provide advanced treatments that are not widely available in other local hospitals, including specialized treatments for babies who did not get enough oxygen during birth.

Highlights of our program

Expertise

Physicians who specialize in meeting the unique needs of sick newborns, called neonatologists, guide every step of your baby’s care. Our team of neonatologists offers a depth of expertise that is not widely available. The level of expertise available at St. Francis is just one of the reasons that physicians from other area hospitals trust our NICU to care for their sick babies.

Immediate Services

We can diagnose many medical problems, including lung or heart conditions, well before you go into labor. This information helps us plan for any immediate medical needs your baby may have. Our neonatologists are available to wait at your bedside during delivery when necessary so we can start caring for your baby the moment he or she is born.

Baby-Centered Care

Our approach helps your little one receive care in an environment designed to meet the unique needs of our most fragile patients. Using special technology, we monitor your baby’s breathing, nutrition and body temperature at all times. We keep the NICU dark and quiet when necessary to help your baby relax and promote healing.

A Focus on Family

With the exception of nursing shift changes (6:30 AM to 7:30 AM and 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM), you and your partner are welcome to visit your baby any time. Our team helps you get to know your baby through bonding activities such as skin-to-skin contact and breast-feeding whenever possible.

Advanced Treatments

Even if childbirth does not go as planned, we offer advanced treatments to protect your baby from complications. For example, if your baby does not get enough oxygen during birth, cooling therapy can help protect and preserve brain functioning. Many babies who undergo cooling go on to live perfectly normal lives.

Coordinated Approach

We can diagnose many medical problems, including lung or heart conditions, well before you go into labor. This information helps us coordinate with other Family Life Center programs, including obstetrics and our high-risk pregnancy program, to plan for your baby’s arrival in the NICU. Our coordinated approach connects your baby with lifesaving care as quickly as possible.

Support

We care as much about your family’s peace of mind as we do your baby’s well-being. Our neonatologists sit with you to discuss your baby’s care, taking as much time as you need to answer questions and help you make important care decisions. You may also take comfort in speaking with one of our chaplains. Chaplains offer guidance and prayers to families of all faiths.