Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

About the NICU

El Paso Children's Level IV NICU (the highest designation available) provides around-the-clock care to critically ill newborns and premature infants.  As an academic teaching hospital, El Paso Children's works together with the University Medical Center of El Paso and the Paul F. Foster School of Medicine.  Mothers can feel safe knowing that babies that need short hospital stays or those who may be critically ill or have special needs can receive comprehensive care from El Paso Children's Level IV NICU, the only NICU in El Paso with Board Certified Neonatologists 24/7, 365 days a year, Neonatal Respiratory Therapists 24/7, 365 days a year, and a dedicated Neonatal Lab available 24/7, 365 days a year. 

 

El Paso Children's NICU provides multi-disciplinary specialized care for critically ill newborns and premature infants to address a multitude of complex diseases from airway disorders, chronic lung disease, craniofacial disorders, genetic diseases, issues of prematurity and seamless access to specialty service:

  • Pediatric Anesthesiologists
  • Pediatric Surgeons
  • Pediatric Gastroenterologists
  • Pediatric Interventional Radiologists
  • Pediatric Ophthalmologists
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Pediatric Neurosurgeon 
  • Neonatal Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Developmental Therapist
  • Pediatric Nutritionist
  • Lactation Consultant
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech Language Pathologist

Due to the highly trained staff, residents and physicians who make it their primary goal to ensure that all babies receive the best care possible, El Paso Children's has one of the lowest mortality rates in the region.

The 52 bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at El Paso Children's Hospital is the largest unit on the U.S./Mexican border.  It includes spacious private rooms, a Private Lactation Room, Family Sleep Room, and a Family Waiting Area.  All families enjoy free Wi-Fi, the Bistro Cafe, Junior League of El Paso Family Resource Center and the Enchanted Forest Playground.

Donors Make a Difference in the NICU

Through the Milagro Campaign, Children's Miracle Network and general donations, El Paso Children's Foundation has provided Omnigiraffe beds ($117,000), Cooling Blanket for HIE, IV poles, monitors, and other medical equipment, symposiums, training and certification, as well as toys, blankets, baby clothing and toiletries through the "Bundles of Love" Program.  

NICVIEW System - $152,00

$152,000 was made possible by attendees of the 2013 Milagro Gala funded the installation of the NICVIEW system that has transformed the experience of each NICU family forever. A small camera installed on each NICU bassinette allows each family to share a password with family and friends. Loved ones can log on to view the baby at anytime. 

Mom views baby over cell phone.This means that the military spouse in Afghanistan, the "abuelita" in Chihuahua or the siblings who were not of age to be permitted to enter the sensitive NICU environment, all become part of the experience.

Nurses leave notes to the families that their new baby has gained weight or eaten well. Babies are in the NICU for weeks or even months until they achieve sufficient weight or wellness to leave.  The stress of being apart is diminished.

Giraffe Omnibed - $103,854

The Giraffe Omnibed is a full-featured incubator that reduces stress for the baby with a warm, comfortable healing environment and increases access for parents of high-acuity newborns.  With the touch of a button the Omni-Giraffe converts from a full-featured incubator to a radiant warmer to create an integrated all-in-one critical care environment. 

Cooling Blanket - $9,000

Approximately one in 1,000 neonates are born with moderate or severe (HIE) hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a life-threatening condition caused by interrupted blood-flow causing oxygen deprivation at birth that can cause severe brain damage.

The cooling blanket system lowers the baby's body temperature to 92.3 degrees, which slows the baby's metabolism to prevent or minimize injury.
 

Noelle Simulator NOELLE Infant Simulator - $55,844

Baby "NOELLE" can simulate post-birth complication scenarios like rescuscitation scenarios providing the most advanced training available.

Previously, nurses conducted "high-risk" scenario drills using inanimate models. Noelle is an advanced interactive device used for drills for situations that don't happen very often but are very serious when they do happen, allowing nurses the training to be able to act automatically when required.  Although Noelle comes with some pre-set scenarios, they can also be modified. Nurses can even duplicate real hospital cases to use for training.

Mamaroo Infant Seat - $3000

One baby is a lot...now imagine up to 52 babies...now imagine up to 52 fragile NICU babies.  Depending on the acuity one nurse could be taking care of four babies and eventually even  NICU parents have to go to work.  Ten mamaroos were gifted to give the NICU nurses an assist.  

MamaRoo Infant Seats bounce up and down and sway from side to side, just like parents do when comforting their baby. Nurses can select from five unique motions with different speeds and connect to any MP3 player to play soothing sounds or music. The seat reclines to multiple positions to allow baby to lie back and relax or sit up and play. 

The additional stimulation of Mamaroos is particularly important to NICU baby development.  For babies that have just come off a ventilator and were used to the slight vibration Mamaroos are a soothing transition.  For twins or triplets they are a godsend.

Medela Advanced Breast Pumps - $3,974

80% to 90% of NICU and Intermediate ICU patients are on breast milk which is considered "liquid gold" for NICU babies.  Breast milk reduces the infants stay in the NICU, helps fight infections and protects an infant from the developing necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating disease of the bowel.  These pumps help moms establish a good supply but they are expensive and difficult for some new Moms to obtain.

Medela Waterless Milk Warmers - $9,015

Designed to safely, conveniently, effectively warm milk to a temperature consistent with expressed human milk.  Gone are the days of running to the tap to warm a bottle of milk.

Medela Warmers allow breastfeeding Moms to express their milk, freeze it and make it available to their baby when needed. 

This is particularly important for NICU Moms whose milk is critical to their wee baby's journey towards gaining weight, staying healthy and achieving the most important goal.  Going home

 

 

Medela Creamatocrit, $1820

Funded by El Paso Children's Foundation through Children's Miracle Network, the Medela Creamatocrit Plus machine for $1820 is designed to measure the caloric and fat content of breastmilk. It helps in the nutrition management of premature and at-risk infants especially NICU infants who need weight gain.

Healing Arts Program

Evidence based research now strongly recognizes art as an essential component to health, healing and well-being. 

Entirely funded through El Paso Children's Foundation the Healing Arts Program integrates dynamic and inspirational art from local and regional artists in every area of the hospital including the NICU, improving the hospital experience for patients, families and caregivers.

Donors interested in more information on NICU needs and other donor opportunities that impact our community's most vulnerable population can email donate@elpasochildrensfoundation.org or click here to donate now.

Foundation NICU volunteers provide amenities and special support to NICU babies and families.  To learn how to become a NICU volunteer, email volunteer@elpasochildrensfoundation.org