Neonatal Intensive Care in Burlington, Vermont
At the University of Vermont Children's Hospital, our 20 bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the following:
A core team of Neonatologists, Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are specially trained and experienced at providing expert care to premature and critically ill infants. We care for over 650 infants a year and offer a specialized transport service for infants born at outlying hospitals throughout Vermont and the Adirondack region of New York needing neonatal intensive care. Care is collaborative and tailored to meet the unique needs of these infants no matter how complex or routine their needs may be.
Core Team Nursing
We strive to keep a core team of NICU nurses caring for your infant. This enables the nursing team to get to know each baby, be alert to even the most subtle changes in their condition and provide the personalized care your baby and family needs.
Evidence Based Research
Our NICU is affiliated with the University of Vermont and offers the depth of expertise and scientific inquiry and advanced technological resources you would expect to find at an academic medical center. Our NICU also participates in the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), a nationwide collaborative of health care workers focused on using evidence based practice to improve outcomes and bring quality, safety and value to newborn care.
Support for Families
Having a baby in the NICU can be stressful for families. We encourage parents to partner with their baby’s health care team and be an active part of their baby’s care. Parents are welcome in the NICU 24 hours a day. We encourage parents to be present for daily rounds, to actively participate and ask questions as well as help set goals for their baby every day. Our social worker meets with families and provides needed resources as well as is available for consults or care conferences.
We have an active Family Advisory group that works to provide educational materials and activities that are meaningful to families as they make their journey through the NICU.
Care in the NICU
We use the most current and evidence based practice as well as advanced technology to provide optimal care for your infant.
- Convertible Open Bed Warmers /Isolettes: These are a sophisticated piece of equipment that allows an infant open bed to convert from an open warmer (for easier infant observation and monitoring) to a closed isolette. This can be accomplished with the push of a button. This allows our smallest babies the ability to remain in the same bed without the disruption of moving to a separate isolette when they are stable.
- Respiratory Support: We provide infants with the respiratory support they need, for their condition including high frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV), conventional mechanical ventilation and non-invasive ventilation. Nitric oxide therapy is also available if indicated.
- Whole Body Cooling: For infants that have experienced severe hypoxia at birth we are capable of delivering whole body cooling to minimize any potential for injury that may have occurred to the brain. We often combine this treatment modality with continuous EEG (electroencephalogram) monitoring to expand our ability to thoroughly and appropriately care for these infants.
- Nutritional Support: Maximizing nutritional support for sick infants is a cornerstone of the care we deliver in the NICU. It is also crucial for their growth and development. We encourage and support moms to breast feed or pump breast milk for their infant if their baby is too premature or ill to breast feed. Every NICU nurse is trained to offer lactation support. We offer donor breast milk and all patients have the opportunity to use 100% human milk based feeding. We work to equally support the families of formula fed infants. Our team works closely with a certified clinical dietician who rounds with the NICU team and makes recommendations with respect to optimizing nutrition for ALL the infants.
- Developmental Care: This approach to individualized care works to maximize brain development. One important support we encourage is Kangaroo Care or skin to skin where the infant is placed skin to skin on mom’s chest. This important bonding time enhances the parent/ infant bond and even helps with the milk supply of breast feeding moms. We provide multiple positional aids to keep infants in developmentally appropriate and comfortable positions when they cannot be held by their parents. The NICU also offers twice a day “Quiet and Reading Time” for a two 2 hour periods. This is a time when the lights are dimmed, doors closed, soothing music played and a time when families are encouraged to read to their child. Reading aloud to infants promotes brain development and reduces stress in ill infants. We supply a beautiful handmade book cart with a large variety of infant friendly reading books for families to use.
- Family Centered Care and Welcoming: The NICU has parents identify who their important family or friends may be. These key individuals are then welcomed along with the parent to come into the NICU and participate in the care and comfort that is being delivered to their infant. This can be providing soothing touch, holding the infant, reading to the infant or just being present to provide additional support for the family.
Meet the NICU Team
Our experienced NICU team includes six board-certified or board-eligible neonatologists. In addition, your baby’s care team will include:
- Neonatal Fellows- physicians completing a training program in Neonatology
- Resident physicians – physicians completing a training program in Pediatrics
- Registered Nurses
- Lactation Consultants and Lactation Counselors
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
- Respiratory Therapists
- Social Worker/Case Manager
- Infection Prevention expert
- Unit Secretaries and administrative staff
Our Continuing Care Program
After your baby is discharged from the NICU, we work with your pediatrician or family practitioner and any other needed specialists to provide appropriate follow-up care. The
Neonatal Medical Follow-up Program (“Neo-Med”) is a medical support system for families who are facing the challenges of caring for an infant with continuing medical needs.
A program coordinator serves as a hospital liaison, helping you by:
- Answering any questions
- Coordinating visits to specialists at the hospital
- Guiding your transition from the NICU to home
You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 802-847-2370 for an appointment or more information.
For Referring Physicians
We are dedicated to working with you and your patients throughout their care and treatment. You can obtain a consultation with an Attending Neonatologist 24 hours a day. Call the Provider Access Service at 800-639-2480 or 802-847-2700.