Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Not all NICU's are created equal, and it's important to know the difference when you are choosing where to have your baby. Huntington Hospital offers beyond advanced care for babies born prematurely or with medical problems in our level III NICU. In fact, our NICU provides the highest level of neonatal intensive care available in the San Gabriel Valley. We have in-house neonatologists available around the clock with support teams that include neonatology surgeons, physicians and nurses; specially trained respiratory therapists; pediatric pharmacists; occupational therapists; and dietitians.

For more information about the NICU, or to arrange for a transport, please call (626) 397-8524.

NICU Services

Advanced Neonatal Carenurse inside nicu

We are the only hospital in the San Gabriel Valley to offer many of the advanced neonatal care techniques that are responsible for saving dozens of young lives every year. Our NICU offers state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical services including:

Therapeutic Induced Hypothermia (Total Body Cooling):

Cooling is a treatment that may prevent or minimize long-term consequences of brain injury in newborns. To read more, click here.

Nitric Oxide Treatment:

Nitric oxide treatment is a non-invasive method of treating respiratory and cardiopulmonary disorders in infants.

ECMO Treatment:

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life-saving surgical treatment for pulmonary hypertension or respiratory failure in infants. ECMO pumps blood out of the body and through an artificial lung to receive oxygen, remove carbon dioxide and support the work of the lungs.

Small Baby Unit:

For newborns weighing less than 1,500 grams, we have a specially designed unit to support growth and healing. Our small baby unit features dimmed lights and reduced noise to more closely mimic the enviroment of the womb, and allows our multidisciplinary medical team the best space to treat low birthweight babies with complicated care needs.

ECMO Information for Healthcare Professionals

In 1985 Huntington Hospital started the Neonatal ECMO program. It was the first program of its kind west of the Mississippi. When we started our program, it was one of only a few ECMO centers in the entire country. The Neonatal ECMO program has since been used effectively to save the lives of hundreds of babies.

ECMO stands for ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, and is also referred to as ECLS or ExtraCorporeal Life Support. ECMO is a process which allows the infants lungs to rest and heal while an artificial lung oxygenates the blood. ECMO is performed through cannulas which are surgically placed in the baby's neck. The cannulas are attached to other tubes pre-filled with blood, called a circuit. Blood is removed from the baby and travels along the circuit to the artificial lung, called an Oxygenator where the blood is oxygenated and returned to the baby.

While on ECMO the ventilator which helps the baby breathe prior to ECMO is turned down to the lowest settings. This is the point at which the lungs are allowed to rest and heal. The artificial lung does all the work of breathing for the baby.

When a baby is receiving ECMO, the pump and circuit are cared for by specially trained, highly skilled nurses and respiratory therapists, referred to as ECMO specialists. The ECMO team consists of ECMO specialists, perfusionists, the attending neonatologists, and pediatric surgeons. The ECMO team members work together, and coordinate their skills to provide the best possible care for the ECMO baby.

There are two types of ECMO, Veno-Venous (V-V) bypass and Veno-Arterial (V-A) bypass. Veno-Venous ECMO consists of a single cannula which is really two catheters in one. Arterio-Venous bypass involves two cannulas. The type of ECMO used depends on the baby and the type of illness they have.

ECMO isn't for every sick baby. Babies who receive ECMO must meet specific criteria. ECMO is often used when other methods to help the baby have not worked. Types of complications which may require ECMO include Group B Streptococcal Pneumonia, Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, Diaphragmatic Hernia, Hyaline Membrane Disease, Pulmonary Hypertension, and Sepsis. Once the lungs have recovered ECMO is weaned off. The amount of time a baby will be on ECMO can take from a few days up to two weeks.

Please contact the neonatologists at (626) 397-8524 or the ECMO coordinator at (626) 397-3327.

High-Risk Infant Follow-up Clinic

For NICU graduates who require follow-up care after discharge, a team of skilled practitioners from our high-risk infant follow-up clinic are on-hand to assist families with additional services.

For more information about the NICU, or to arrange for a transport, please call: (626) 397-8524.

For more information about high-risk infant clinic, please call: (626) 397-8675.

Our Accolades