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Welcome to the New NICU at CHKD

Category: About CHKD

When CHKD opened the region’s first neonatal intensive care unit in 1972, the tiny babies shared a 20-bed unit in a single large room with older children who also needed intensive care.

Over the years, the NICU gained its own space, adding more beds and more sophisticated technology, making it the highest level NICU in the region. In pods of six to nine babies, we cared for the tiniest and sickest infants.

Today, our NICU consists of 50 private rooms, plus 10 rooms with two beds each, allowing space for a parent to spend the night or rest along with private space for bonding. Glass doors and the latest technology in monitors allow NICU staff to easily see how babies are doing and provide the latest in treatments.

We care for 500 to 600 babies a year, with an average length of stay of 41 days. The tiniest patients, those weighing less than 2.3 pounds, stay an average of 87 days.

The renovated unit has a whimsical oak tree in the lobby, with a squirrel peeking out from a knothole. A family lounge area includes a kitchen and a store where parents can “buy” books and clothing with “NICU bucks” they earn by attending classes that prepare them to take their babies home.