Neonatology - Neonatal Care

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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Committed To Giving Life

CHI St. Alexius Health’s Bismarck Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is committed to caring for patients during life's most fragile moments. Our Level III NICU is staffed by neonatal nurses, therapists, neonatologists, a pediatric neurologist, and visiting pediatric cardiologists. The care team is educated, skilled, and ready to handle critical newborn situations.

And because babies born too early or too sick need the highest quality of care, the healing environment includes the latest in sophisticated technology to promote all aspects of care. While in the NICU, babies are under constant monitoring for a number of complications, including breathing problems and infection.

Infants have access to conventional ventilators as well as the more advanced, spatial ventilator, high-frequency oscillators and nitric-oxide therapy to help them breathe. In addition, they are treated by a board-certified neonatologist.

24/7 Transport Services
CHI St. Alexius Health’s transport team is available 24/7 with neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists and board-certified neonatologists ready to transport sick or premature infants by air or ground ambulance. The transport team also has a portable NICU in the form of its transport bed - equipped with more monitors to watch the infant's vital signs, better patient safety through harnesses, and sophisticated ventilator capabilities, including high-frequency oscillators and nitric-oxide therapy.

Exclusive Human Milk Diet
CHI St. Alexius Health has been a trailblazer in improving the standard of care for preemies and is the first hospital in North Dakota to adopt an exclusive human milk diet (EHMD), which comprises moms or donor milk and nutritional fortifiers from Prolacta Bioscience. The NICU anticipates improved outcomes for the extremely premature infants with the introduction of an EHMD, featuring nutritional fortifiers made from 100 percent donor breastmilk instead of cow milk. Keeping extremely premature infants off cow milk-based nutrition has shown to reduce complications, improve health and reduce the length of stay in the NICU. Because premature infants require more protein and calories than what breastmilk alone can supply, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends fortifying mother’s milk or pasteurized donor milk with protein, minerals and vitamins to ensure optimal nutrient intake for preemies weighing less than 3 lbs. 4 oz. (1,500 g).

Respiratory Therapy
The NICU Respiratory Therapy (RT) Core Team is a specialized group of Respiratory Therapists who have had additional training in procedures specific to Neonatal Intensive Care. All NICU RT are Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certified as well as S.T.A.B.L.E (Sugar, Temperature, Artificial Breathing, Blood pressure, Lab work, Emotional Support) certified.

The NICU Respiratory Therapist are responsible for the care of the neonate in the following areas: Mechanical Ventilation Management, Oxygen Therapy, Diagnostic testing (drawing and reporting blood gas values), Hemodynamic monitors, administration of Inhaled Nitric Oxide (iNO), Pneumocardiogram testing and some RT’s also assist in transporting of critical ill infants from other facilities via ground or air.