The Seton Family of Hospitals has three, Level Three Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), located at University Medical Center Brackenridge, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and Seton Medical Center Austin. We also have Level Two NICUs located at Seton Northwest Hospital, Seton Medical Center Williamson and Seton Medical Center Hays for babies who need extra support but whose condition is determined to be less critical.
A Level Three NICU is staffed by physicians (neonatologists), nurse practitioners, nurses and respiratory therapists who are specially trained to care for premature and critically-ill newborns. These healthcare professionals work around the clock to provide for your infant’s special needs. Equipment and procedures specifically designed for babies help the team treat sick newborns until they are healthy enough to go home.
A Level Two NICU provides care for newborns who are not critically ill but may need additional support, such as phototherapy, antibiotics or help with feeding.
Neonatal Intensive Care Units are ideal places to take care of newborns who:
- Are premature (born at least three weeks earlier than the due date)
- Experience complications during birth
- Have birth defects
- Suffer from a contagious illness or drug-related problem
The birth of a sick infant usually is an unexpected crisis, creating unique stress on the family. Feelings of grief are common as the happy expectation of a new and healthy baby turns to disappointment and anxiety. Feelings of anger or guilt may also arise, and parents often feel helpless as the care of their infant is turned over to others. All of these emotions are normal, and we hope that you will be able to share them with us. Often, simply talking about how you feel is helpful.
We also encourage you to become involved in your infant's care and ask questions. After all, you are the most important people in your baby's life. Above all, we hope you will find your experience to be one of honesty and hopefulness, understanding and acceptance.