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The 411 on our Level IV NICU

Since its inception in 2007, our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has cared for more than 5,500 babies. What started with five patients in a temporary unit 12 years ago, now features 47 Level IV NICU-designed beds and treats more than 650 babies each year.

In 2017, our NICU received a Level IV designation, the highest level of neonatal care, one of only four health care systems in North Texas that hold this honor. For National Prematurity Awareness Month, we are sharing exactly what it means to be a Level IV NICU.

What are the criteria to earn a Level IV designation?

Signifying the highest level of care available, a Level IV designation me​ans that babies have immediate access to pediatric medical and surgical specialists and sub-specialists as well as pediatric anesthesiologists that are capable of providing care for the most complex conditions that occur in the womb as well as during or after birth. To earn this designation, the hospital must also provide these medically fragile babies a full spectrum of expertise including specially trained nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists, as well as access to high-speed transport by ambulance, jet and helicopter and robust educational offerings for their parents and referring facilities.

Why is Level IV designation important?

Our Level IV NICU designation means we never need to refer your baby to another hospital for care. From feeding challenges to surgical procedures, neonatologists and pediatric medical and surgical specialists from UT Southwestern deliver any and all care or treatments your baby may need.

Drawing patients from across the region, our team coordinates the care of these infants with the pediatric medical and surgical specialists and subspecialists to give your baby the best possible start in life.

What makes our NICU unique?

U.S. News & World Report has continuously ranked Children’s Health among the nation’s top programs in Neonatology. This ranking highlights our dedication to exceptional care and best practices as well as the use and availability of advanced treatments for babies of all gestational ages with the most complex diseases. We also provide telehealth services, a comprehensive follow up program and in utero procedures to enhance and extend the reach of our Level IV capabilities.