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Neonatal Intensive Care
For more than 30 years, our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has cared for critically ill newborns and the smallest of premature babies. The only Level III intensive care nursery in this four-county region, our NICU is equipped with the latest technology and multi-disciplinary specialists to provide advanced life support and around-the-clock specialty care and monitoring.
A special affiliation with All Children's Hospital ensures access to the full spectrum of pediatric specialties and rapid transport to All Children's Hospital for babies who need heart, lung and gastrointestinal surgery.
Despite the high-tech operations at work in our NICU, the care we provide is purely family-centered, meaning all of our efforts revolve around your family. We encourage parents to spend as much time as possible with their babies, and provide accommodations, such as visiting lounges, breast feeding suites and rooms for overnight stays and family visiting.
We encourage families to take an active role in the care of their infant(s). Cuddling preemies skin to skin is the best thing a parent can do for their baby! It's actually a scientific method of holding a baby called Kangaroo care. Studies show that holding a baby against a parent's bare chest - snuggled inside the pouch of their parent's shirt, much like a kangaroo's pouch – both soothes and relaxes babies, lowering their oxygen requirements, stabilizing their heart rates and helping them thrive while they sleep.
During your time in the NICU, our neonatal nurses and physicians will teach you everything you need to know to care for your little one at home and celebrate with you every milestone in their development. We enjoy seeing our NICU "graduates" return now and then at our NICU reunions.
To help ease any anxiety parents feel while their babies stay in our NICU, we offer the following free support services:
• Emotional/spiritual support - Our non-denominational chaplains, mental health counselors and family support liaisons can be a significant source of comfort.
• Social Workers -- Our social workers and case managers help answer questions and address family housing, support and financial concerns.
• Volunteer Cuddlers -- Our "cuddlers" are a wonderful group of volunteers who are specially trained to hold and soothe newborns when parents cannot be with their babies.
Sarasota Memorial has a parent support program for families who have experienced the birth of a premature or "at risk" baby. A library of information is available on specific diagnoses or conditions and related resources, such as foundations, Internet sites and support groups. Information: (941) 917-2470.
"Memories to Hold" - Bereavement Support
The loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death is a devastating experience. Grief is the pain of loss; bereavement is a process you move through to resolve that pain. A supportive environment is an important and necessary part of resolving grief and reorganizing one's life. Information: (941) 917-2468.
Mobile Intensive Care Nursery
Sarasota Memorial's specially equipped maternal-neonatal critical care ambulance, staffed by specially trained neonatal nurses and respiratory therapists – ensures safe ground transport 24/7 for at-risk babies who need to be transferred to Sarasota Memorial from other hospitals in the region. The ambulance also is available to provide safe inter-hospital ground transfers for women with high risk pregnancies.
Care That Continues At Home
Our Family Case Coordinator works closely with families to support all aspects of discharge planning, including a complete developmental evaluation before your baby leaves the hospital and help arranging nursing care at home for babies and families who need it.
Women with high-risk pregnancies are welcome to tour our NICU to learn more about the services offered in our intensive care nursery.
For More Information
call (941) 917-6530 or (941) 917-1056.
Ongoing Developmental Evaluations
Sarasota Memorial Early Steps program provides free support and specialized services to monitor and promote healthy development during your baby's first three years of life. Regular developmental evaluations give parents feedback on their babies' progress and important milestones, and provide referrals to supportive community services or therapies if needed. Information: (941) 487-5400.
2010 NICU Reunion Video