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Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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Our world-class, Level III, regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is one of the largest in all of Southern California and unmatched in the United States for its state-of-the-art design and technology. Under the leadership of Charles F. Simmons, Jr., MD, the NICU admits nearly 700 infants per year.

Our Division of Neonatology offers comprehensive neonatal diagnostic and treatment facilities for critically ill newborns. It also is a multidisciplinary research unit, dedicated to providing the highest quality care for all newborns, ranging from healthy neonates to sick or premature newborns requiring close observation or intensive care.

All of the neonatologists are board certified and act as training faculty for our pediatric residency and training programs.  We are a fully accredited Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program and paneled California Children Services (CCS) providers, since the NICU here is a CCS-approved Regional Center.

The Neonatal Transport Program maintains a specially trained team capable of transporting the smallest and sickest infants from area hospitals to the Cedars-Sinai NICU when they require the highest level of care and sub-specialists that can only be provided at a Level III Regional NICU. The Transport Team functions as a complete mobile ICU, utilizing a specialized portable incubator with integrated ventilator and monitor, so that the patient remains fully supported throughout the transport process. Depending on the degree of illness and distance, the team transports babies by ambulance, helicopter, or fixed-wing aircraft.

Our state-of-the-art 22,000-square foot NICU has service capabilities that include:

  • A total of 45 beds
  • A direct elevator from Labor and Delivery, where a special stabilization room has been constructed for the immediate specialized care of high-risk newborns
  • A self-contained Blood Gas Laboratory for immediate blood gas results
  • Digital Imaging Readers in the unit, allowing X-rays to be read without delay
  • Isolation rooms that can also be used for rooming in, multiple births and bereavement support
  • Hemodynamic monitoring
  • Omnibeds, which can be used as incubators and warmers so babies do not have to be moved between the two. Each Omnibed has a built-in scale so critically ill babies can be weighed without being moved. Healthcare workers have access to babies from both sides of the bed, which can be turned so the baby does not have to be turned.

The Division maintains an active relationship with the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition to conventional newborn intensive care, the following neonatal services are also available:

  • High frequency oscillatory and jet ventilators
  • Inhaled nitric oxid
  • Comprehensive pediatric surgical subspecialties
  • Infant Progress Clinic
  • Parent Liaison Services / Family Centered Care
  • Bedside pulmonary function testing
  • 24-hour in-house coverage by board-certified neonatologists, who are full-time faculty members at Cedars-Sinai
  • Advanced point of care laboratory testing including self-contained blood gas laboratory
  • Advanced information systems including digital imaging readers
  • One of the few regional systemic hypothermia programs for neuroprotection of newborns
  • Continuous neurointensive care EEG telemetry monitoring of at risk newborns

The Division of Neonatology faculty also conducts major research programs, including studies of:

  • Neonatal brain development in response to injury
  • Changes in brain oxygenation during acute illness
  • The role of proteoglycans in neonatal brain injury
  • The effect of anemia on cardiac function
  • The role of nitric oxide in the prevention of chronic lung disease
  • The effectiveness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in extremely low birth weight infants.
  • Mechanisms of inflammation and fibrosis
  • Developmental innate immunity
  • Developmental host pathogen relations
  • Genetic predisposition to neonatal disease
  • Emerging neonatal technologies (neonatal video laryngoscopy)

Learning Tree - Continuing Education in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Learning Tree Endowment of Cedars-Sinai, to support the academic enrichment of the NICU staff, established by Lori and David Rousso, loving grandparents of Jack and Sam Rosenfeld, is an educational fund that fosters continuing education for physicians, nurses, and all medical staff working in the NICU.

It is critical that our clinicians learn about the latest technologies and research insights related to neonatal intensive care.  With vital philanthropic support, the Learning Tree Endowment fund will ensure that our medical professionals have the educational tools they need to provide outstanding care to our tiniest newborns.

Please help champion continuing education in the neonatal intensive care unit by making a contribution to the Learning Tree Endowment fund.  Thank you. 

Good Beginnings

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Good Beginnings organization is the support group for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Good Beginnings' purpose is to promote and advance the care of newborn infants at Cedars-Sinai.

The organization offers an array of outreach services and programs to benefit both families and NICU staff free of charge. Some of our programs and initiatives include facilitating a variety of weekly forums for parent-to-parent support where former NICU parents can guide and help other families through their NICU journey, hosting infant-care education opportunities for families being discharged with special needs infants, providing extensive bereavement support to families experiencing a loss, offering continued education to the NICU staff, as well as funding neonatal medical research. To learn more, visit the Good Beginnings website.

NICU Family Suite

The newly designed NICU Family Suite offers families who are shortly going home the opportunity to practice what they have learned in the comfort of a hotel-like suite that is just steps away from NICU staff.  The new Family Suite provides a truly warm and inviting setting to help parents gain confidence in caring for their tiniest additions. 

NICU Lactation Room

The newly renovated NICU Lactation Room offers a unique venue for moms who need to express their milk in close proximity to their babies.  This serene, attractive space gives moms the opportunity to privately attend to the task, and unwind for a moment in a quieter setting than is often found on the busy NICU floor.

For More Information

For more information on the Division of Neonatology and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or to make a referral, please contact:

Neonatology and the NICU
Maxine Dunitz Children's Health Center
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
8700 Beverly Blvd., Suite 4221
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 1-800-CEDARS-1 (233-2771)
Fax: (310) 423-1402
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