The Virtua Voorhees McNabb Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or the Virtua Memorial Special Care Nursery (SCN) are warm, safe places for premature or sick, fragile newborns to eat, sleep and develop until they're healthy enough to go home with their parents.
While this sounds like a simple goal, the team working toward it offers advanced expertise in the complex care of the tiniest and sickest babies, and they do so with the greatest compassion and skill.
Why do babies go to the NICU?
Babies who go to the NICU at Virtua Voorhees or the SCN at Virtua Memorial often are admitted because:
- They're born prematurely (common in twins and triplets).
- They have experienced difficulties during their delivery.
- They show signs of breathing problems or other medical problems in the first few days of life.
Dedicated to treating newborns with special needs, Virtua's NICU and SCN are staffed by teams of board-certified CHOP at Virtua neonatologists (pediatricians with advanced training in newborn intensive care), neonatal nurse practitioners and Virtua neonatal nurses. The staff provide 24/7 support and work closely with parents in a supportive environment to determine the best treatment for their baby.
The NICU differs from the SCN in that it provides the highest level of intensive care to very sick infants, while the SCN provides specialized care for infants with less severe medical problems.
As a state-designated Regional Perinatal Center, babies may be referred to Virtua Voorhees from area hospitals when they require a high level of intensive care. These newborns are transferred to Virtua Voorhees by a trained neonatal transport team that includes a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Why Virtua for NICU?
- CHOP at Virtua physicians on staff
- State-designated Regional Perinatal Center, providing the highest level of care for mothers and babies
- Experience in delivering more than 8,000 babies a year
- Maternal-fetal medicine program named "Center of Excellence" by Philadelphia Magazine
- Comprehensive perinatal depression screening and treatment program recognized by the State of New Jersey and modeled by other NJ healthcare providers
For more information about Virtua's NICU, please call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823).
The Intensive Care Nurseries Offer:
- The latest technology in respiratory care, electronic monitoring and other leading-edge medical therapies for micro-preemies (babies weighing less than 2 pounds)
- Developmental care, which involves creating a developmentally nurturing environment for newborns
- Consultation provided by dedicated pediatric subspecialists including cardiology, surgery, neurology, ophthalmology, ENT and urology
- Phone consultations available for GI, ID, hematology and genetics
- A plastic surgeon able to see babies
- 24-hour parental access and access for siblings
- Ronald McDonald Family Rooms to provide families of hospitalized newborns a soothing place to relax, complete with kitchen, sitting area and Internet access
- Follow-up care provided in collaboration with pediatricians for high-risk infants after they leave the NICU
Support for Parents
While all of this is essential in helping preemies develop, the staff is also skilled in supporting parents during what can be an emotionally challenging time. Since some babies stay in the NICU or SCN for several weeks, the staff tries to make it feel like home for families. This includes:
- Personalizing isolettes and cribs
- Celebrating the newborn's milestones (gaining weight, breathing on own)
- Involving parents in daily care and teaching them how to hold, diaper and feed babies who may be hooked up to medical equipment