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Saint Luke’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Saint Luke's Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) are nurseries located in our hospitals that provide around-the-clock care to premature babies and those who need additional support. They are staffed by neonatal health care experts who have special training and equipment to provide the individualized care your baby needs. Should your baby need our NICU services, you will be an integral part of that care.

Our NICUs also accept transfers from hospitals with lower level or no NICU available.

Saint Luke’s provides 24/7 care for babies in the NICU when they:

  • Are born before 36 weeks of gestation or need help with breathing, maintaining a normal temperature, or learning how to eat
  • Have a possible infection
  • Are born with critical medical conditions that require special treatment
  • Need close supervision for a few hours before joining their mothers

NICU levels at Saint Luke's

Saint Luke’s hospitals offer Level II and Level III NICUs to care for our most vulnerable patients:

Level II: Advanced Newborn Care

Saint Luke’s North Hospital–Barry Road 
Specialty-trained staff care for babies born at 34 weeks gestation or older, or those recovering from more serious conditions.

Level III: Subspecialty Newborn Care

Saint Luke’s East Hospital  
Specialty-trained staff care for babies born at 30 weeks gestation or greater, as well as babies born with critical illness at all gestational ages.

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City 
Specialty-trained staff care for babies born at 22 weeks gestation or greater, as well as babies born with critical illness at all gestational ages.

Saint Luke’s Hospital offers state-of-the-art whole-body cooling, which temporarily reduces a newborn's body temperature. This may be used for newborns who are at risk for brain injury following a difficult labor and delivery. By reducing the body temperature, whole body cooling reduces brain damage and improves long-term outcomes.

Saint Luke’s Hospital also is one of the only hospitals in the region to partner with March of Dimes to offer their NICU Family Support® program. The program provides education and critical information for NICU families, family-centered care training for hospital staff, and resources to improve the patient and family experience. We are one of the few hospitals in the area with Angel Eye, a secure monitor that allows loved ones to see their babies in the NICU from anywhere.

Saint Luke’s Hospital and Saint Luke’s East feature large individual suites for multiples and their parents.

Staffed by neonatal specialists

All our NICUs are staffed with specially trained neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, lactation consultants, neonatal nutritionists, occupational therapists, and social workers. 

NICU visitors

Bonding with family is important to the emotional and physical well-being of babies. We encourage you to visit the NICU as often as possible. We may need to limit visits by extended family members depending on your baby’s condition and illness levels in the community. 

Saint Luke's is committed to the supporting caregivers while their baby is in the NICU. Please talk with your care team about meals, sleeping accommodations, and additional resources available.

Readmission of newborns

Our highly skilled NICU team also provides exceptional care to newborns up to 28 days old who need to be readmitted, including those who didn’t require NICU care at birth.

Our NICUs care for newborns with:

  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Sepsis evaluation and treatment
  • Failure to thrive and dehydration
  • Blood transfusions
  • Feeding issues and intolerance
  • Apnea, bradycardia, and desaturation

Next steps

Our care doesn’t end once our tiniest patients head home. Parents whose infants have been released from the NICU with medical equipment or medications are referred to Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City Neonatal Medical Follow-Up Clinic where they can receive resources and information about how to care for their child at home.

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City Developmental Follow Up-Clinic offers a developmental screening program designed to periodically assess high-risk infants over their first two years of life. Using a team approach, a speech pathologist and occupational or physical therapist conduct screenings at approximately 6, 9, 15, and 21 months of age to determine if developmental milestones are being achieved within age-appropriate timeframes.

NICU Stories at Saint Luke's

Watch the inspiring stories of three families and their experiences on Saint Luke's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

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