Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 EDT

American Academy of Pediatrics Redefines Levels of Intensive Care for Newborns

September 29, 2012

Children’s Omaha is the only Level IV NICU serving multi-state region

OMAHA, Neb., Sept. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — New standards published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) establish Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., as the only Level IV Regional Newborn Intensive Care Unit serving Nebraska, western Iowa and South Dakota. Level IV is the highest level of care as defined by the AAP.

Children’s meets a number of strict criteria including:

  • Experience in the care of the most complex and critically ill newborns.
  • The availability of subspecialists on-site and available 24/7 including heart surgeons, pediatric surgical subspecialists and pediatric anesthesiologists.
  • The experience and expertise to provide surgical repair of complex congenital conditions including serious heart defects.
  • The ability to transport critically ill newborns by ground, helicopter and fixed wing aircraft.
  • And, the ability to facilitate and provide outreach education.

The new standards were published in the September 2012 edition of the medical journal, Pediatrics.

“The AAP has taken a significant step in redefining these classifications of care. It’s important to understand all newborn intensive care units aren’t alike. As the only Level IV NICU in the state, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is uniquely qualified to care for the sickest babies,” said Lynne Willett, M.D., Clinical Service Chief of Neonatology at Children’s. “Neonatologists, nurses, pediatric surgeons and specialists, and a skilled critical care transport team – we are all here and working together to give these newborns the most comprehensive care available.”

Since 2004, Children’s had been recognized as a Level IIIC unit, the highest level as noted by past AAP standards. Based on capabilities and provider types, the new classifications define units as: Level I, well newborn nursery; Level II, special care nursery; Level III, Newborn Intensive Care Unit; or Level IV, Regional Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

“Children’s is widely recognized as a regional resource providing advanced diagnostics and treatments. Patients come to our unit from other NICUs, hospitals, and health systems across the state and beyond,” said Dr. Willett.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center (www.ChildrensOmaha.org) is recognized as a 2012-13 Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in cardiology and heart surgery, and cancer. Located in Omaha, it is the only full-service, pediatric health care center in Nebraska providing pediatric specialty services across a five-state region and beyond.

SOURCE Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Source: PR Newswire