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Neonatal Intensive Care

Level 4 Regional Neonatal Intensive Care UnitNurse holding a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a designated Level 4 Facility providing the highest level of care within the state of Louisiana. The unit has 36 critical care beds for newborns and provides care for sick infants with problems resulting from prematurity, birth defects or acquired conditions. The NICU is a state-of-the-art, 11,000-square-foot facility with 24-hour air and ground transport available for the sickest babies. The NICU has private and semi-private rooms available and has expanded to more than five times its original size since opening in 1988.

The care team

doctor holding newborn

All infants are under the care of the neonatologists with help from the largest team of pediatric specialists in the state of Louisiana, if needed. A broad range of medical specialists and allied health providers are available. Highly specialized therapies are provided, including:

  • Conventional mechanical ventilation
  • High frequency ventilation
  • Inhaled nitric oxide therapy
  • Peritoneal and hemodialysis
  • ECMO (heart/lung bypass)
  • Therapeutic hypothermia

Social workers and case managers are on staff to assist families. The neonatologists help train the largest group of future neonatologists and pediatricians in Louisiana. Neonatology fellows and pediatric residents, in addition to specialized neonatal nurse practitioners, are included in the patient care team.

Meet the team Our leadership

VisitationNeonatal Intensive Care Unit Room

Parents are encouraged to visit as often as they are able to foster our dedication to family-centered care. Daily rounds begin at 9 am, and we invite parents to join in rounds as they are an integral part of the care team.

All visitors must be free of any cold or flu-like symptoms. Three visitors are permitted at each bedside at one time.

Visitation is allowed 24 hours a day, except during a sterile procedure. During RSV/Flu season, the minimum age to enter the unit for visiting is 12 years old.

Taking photos and videos of the babies is encouraged to promote bonding with siblings/family members who are unable to visit. Live-streaming bedside cameras are also available 24 hours a day so parents and family members can view their baby through a password-protected website. Breastfeeding is always encouraged, and lactation support is available to help nursing mothers provide milk for their infants.

Phone calls

Parents may call the NICU 24 hours a day at 504.896.9418.


Only one person will be allowed to sleep at the patient’s bedside overnight, if the infant’s condition allows. Our social work team is available to help each family should they need assistance with housing accommodations while their baby is in the NICU.

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