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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)



The NICU at Children's of Alabama is a Level IV unit with 48 private rooms available for neonates and infants.  Our unit houses 4 ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) rooms, and it is the only unit in the state that provides dialysis for premature infants.

Patients are referred from other hospitals primarily for surgical and subspecialty care, with diagnoses that include:

  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Severe Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
  • Gastroschisis, omphalocele, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Neural tube defects
  • Multiple congenital anomalies, genetic syndromes
  • Renal anomalies and renal failure

Treatments and Monitoring offered at Children’s of Alabama include:

  • Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS)
  • Neurologically Assisted Ventilation (NAVA)
  • Hemofiltration and Dialysis (Aquadex and Peritoneal Dialysis)
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Home ventilation
  • Gastrostomy tube placement
  • Intestinal Rehabilitation (IR) for short gut physiology
  • Neurosurgical procedures such as shunt placements and neural tube defect repair
  • Polysomnography (sleep study)
  • FEES (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing)
  • Mandibular distractions
  • Tracheostomy

Our medical team includes:

  • Neonatologists and neonatal fellows
  • Pediatric surgeons and surgical fellows
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Discharge planning team with nursing educators
  • NICU dedicated pharmacists (2)
  • Nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, and child life therapists
  • Palliative care team, social workers, and pastoral care team

Neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners are in house to provide 24-7 care.

Telephone Numbers for the NICU:
Quarterback: 205-638-9480
Harbert: 205-638-5471
Toll Free: 888-820-6593 (parents only)

We provide a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care and practice family-centered rounding. In addition to rounds by the NICU team, there is regular, active participation in patient care from the palliative and supportive care team, intestinal rehabilitation team, and the multidisciplinary neurodevelopmental  team. Support of family structures including stress management, grief support, and enhancement of coping skills is also provided by our two NICU dedicated social workers. Our RN staff are especially skilled in the assessment and treatment of infants with complex, multisystem dysfunction. The nurse to patient ratio is usually 1:2 or 1:1 depending on acuity of the patient. Additionally, there is a full range of medical and surgical subspecialists available on campus. 

The Children’s of Alabama NICU is part of the following collaboratives:

  • Children’s Hospital Neonatal Consortium
  • Vermont Oxford Network
  • Neonatal Research Network

The Children’s of Alabama NICU is involved in many Quality Improvement (QI) projects, both as an individual unit and through our involvement with other leading Children’s hospitals in the US and Canada. 

  • STEPP-IN: Safe Transitions & Euthermia in the Peri-operative Period in neonates & infants
  • ERASE Post-Op Pain: reduce unrelieved postoperative pain
  • Code Debriefing in the NICU
  • Baby NINJA: Nephrotoxic Injury Negated by Just in Time Action, reduction of nephrotoxic-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) in neonates & infants
  • BRAIN Program aka Neuro-NICU: Brain Rescue and Avoidance of Injury in Neonates
  • Decreasing Unintended Extubations in the NICU
  • CLABSI Reduction in collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC)

Telephone Numbers for the NICU:
Quarterback: 205-638-9480
Harbert: 205-638-5471
Toll Free: 888-820-6593 (parents only)

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