What are the differences between the NICUs in the Pavilion for Women and West Tower?


2k16-0510-AK4_7211 March of Dimes Prematurity Day

Having a baby admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for prematurity or other reasons can be overwhelming for parents.

A good NICU team, such as ours, continuously strives to meet the needs of parents and support them whenever possible. Our social workers and chaplain are also available for parents’ assistance.

Parents often ask us about the differences between the NICUs in our West Tower and the Pavilion for Women. The neonatal unit at the Pavilion takes care of preterm babies who are born there and, at times, from other hospitals. Our Pavilion for Women team is geared toward attending high-risk deliveries and taking care of very preterm babies. Our NICU in West Tower takes care of babies with complex diagnoses including heart disease, genetic conditions, lung disease and neurological problems. Simply put, babies who need subspecialists, such as cardiologists, neurologists, etc. will be taken care of in our West Tower NICU.

There are times when babies who are born and admitted to the Pavilion may have to be transferred to the West Tower NICU. These reasons include the need for surgery or subspecialist care, as well as when our Pavilion NICU is full and we have to make space for incoming admissions.

While there are some organizational differences between the NICUs in West Tower and the Pavilion, such as private rooms in the Pavilion and shared pods in West Tower, we believe the care provided in all of our NICUs is exceptional and very similar. Our neonatology group takes care of babies in every unit and follow the same protocols with a lot of overlap of nursing and other staff.

We understand moving from one NICU to another can be unsettling to parents, but we strive to provide adequate time for the transition and make sure you understand the implications of the transfer fully. Our Pavilion for Women team will approach parents as soon as possible when there is a possibility of transfer.

Before transfer, parents are encouraged to ask and get as much information as needed about the West Tower NICU and the details of the transfer. We offer parents a tour, as well as the opportunity to meet the care team before transfer. Our medical and nursing teams strive to make this transfer as smooth as possible. In whichever NICU your baby is cared for, we will provide the same exceptional, family-centered care to achieve the best possible neonatal outcomes for your little one.

This blog is co-authored by Dr. Pammi, neonatologist and Kellie Kainer, nursing director.