The UC Davis Division of Neonatology treats infants with a variety of health conditions, including birth asphyxia, congenital heart disease, congenital anomalies, infectious diseases, and respiratory distress.
Services include the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which provides clinical care and conducts research into health problems facing infants, including those who are born very prematurely, are extremely ill, or require surgery, often to correct congenital anomalies.
The NICU is the Level III-designated nursery for the Sacramento region, caring for infants from throughout Northern California. Many NICU patients are transported from other institutions for specialized surgical intervention or diagnostic tests. The Special Care Nursery is a Level II-designated unit for children who are seriously ill but expected to recover more rapidly. The 49-bed combined NICU and Special Care Nursery includes a one-bed isolation room staffed by neonatologists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Working with subspecialists in other fields, such as cardiology and pulmonology, our team of experts treats infants suffering from a variety of health conditions, including ...
- Birth asphyxia
- Congenital heart disease
- Congenital anomalies (birth defects)
- Infectious diseases such as pneumonia
- Respiratory distress
Through collaboration with perinatologists (a subspecialty of obstetrics concerned with the care of the fetus and complicated, high-risk pregnancies) in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as referring northern California physicians, our neonatologists can plan for the care of infants who are diagnosed with congenital anomalies before birth.
The NICU’s specialized diagnostic and therapeutic equipment includes:
- Conventional mechanical ventilation
- Inhaled nitric oxide for respiratory distress for premature infants
- High-frequency ventilation, using oscillator and jet ventilators to treat infants with severe respiratory distress
- Extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or Extra-corporeal Life Support (ECLS) for severe respiratory failure, persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn infant, and congenital heart disease
- Specialized feeding evaluations for infants with craniofacial or development issues
- Whole body cooling (hypothermia) program for the treatment of neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a condition in which the newborn’s brain does not receive enough oxygen
Division of Neonatology Chief Mark Underwood, a professor whose research interests includes necrotizing enterocolitis, development of intestinal innate immunity, and mechanisms of probiotics and prebiotics in pre-term infants, heads the NICU’s extensive team of doctors and specialized nurses.
UC Davis Children’s Hospital is the Sacramento region’s only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital for children, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care.