At Driscoll Children’s Hospital we share in the excitement that new parents experience at the arrival of their newborn; we also realize that being admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can be a confusing and frightening time. We have a staff of dedicated, caring and compassionate medical professionals who nurture each baby and provide the best treatment options, information and support for the families here.
Our NICU is designated Level IV from the Texas Department of State Health Services—the highest level of care for premature and critically-ill newborns. It was the first NICU in South Texas to earn this designation in 2017. It was redesignated Level IV in May 2020.
Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is staffed by neonatologists from Neonatology Services and supported by pediatric subspecialists. Services provided are:
- High frequency ventilation
- Nitric oxide
- Surfactant therapy
- Cooling therapy
Other coordinated services include:
- Transport team (fixed wing / helicopter / ground transportation)
- Full-time social worker, discharge planner, case managers and pharmacist
- Breastfeeding facilities and lactation specialist
- Pastoral services
- Rooming-in facility for pre-discharge
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Feeding and swallowing specialist
- Neonatal resuscitation classes
- S.T.A.B.L.E and Cardiac S.T.A.B.L.E
- Participation in Vermont-Oxford trials (patients outcomes study)
Our Level IV NICU cares for newborns and infants for a variety of reasons, including:
- Prematurity (carried less than 37 weeks)
- Respiratory distress
- Birth defects
- Other illnesses
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Driscoll Children’s Hospital is licensed for 61 beds and is the only hospital in Corpus Christi staffed by neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, we have a support staff of nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and more who are all specially trained to care for the tiniest of babies.
Driscoll’s Transport Team
Every year, Driscoll’s Transport Team transfers more than 840 neonatal and pediatric patients to or from Driscoll Children’s Hospital, as well as local, state, national and even international facilities.
Our expert staff consists of registered nurses, registered respiratory therapists, paramedics and/or emergency medical technicians. Driscoll’s patient- and family-centered care approach is committed to providing the highest standard of care to our patients and their families.
The NICU uses a patient- and family-centered approach to care for the tiniest and sickest of babies. Families are integral in the healing and recovery process of their baby, so the NICU’s 24/7 visitation policy allows families to spend as much time as possible with their infant on their terms. If they work shift jobs, for example, they can visit at 2 a.m.
Another example of Driscoll’s commitment to family-centered care is evident through medical rounding with doctors. Families are encouraged to take part in rounds and the nurse shift report to ask questions and give feedback on their baby’s progress.
Consultation with Physicians and Staff
- Web-cam visits allow families who are not able to come to see their baby to speak with doctors and staff
- Conference calling allows real-time consultation with specialists during ground and air transport
Avastin therapy is used for the treatment of retinopathy of prematurity, a disease that causes blindness in premature infants. Driscoll can transport patients from any hospital in the United States for Avastin therapy and transport them back to their referring hospital. In some cases, patients who live close to Driscoll may be brought to the hospital by their parents or guardians and the therapy performed on an outpatient basis.