Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) treat babies with medical conditions that need close monitoring and special care. This includes babies who are sick due to early delivery or prematurity, heart conditions, breathing problems, birth defects and other life-threatening conditions.
NICUs are equipped to provide specialized care services for the smallest and most critically ill newborns and infants.
Programs & Services available at:
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Kapiolani Medical Center provides a full range of highly specialized medical and surgical services to approximately 1,000 babies from across the state of Hawaii each year. Newborns from other NICUs on Oahu and babies born on neighbor islands are transported to Kapiolani when a higher level of care is needed.
Located in the Diamond Head Tower, our 74-bed NICU provides 24-hour, family-centered care to sick babies in a family-centered setting. There are a variety of amenities for the convenience and comfort of families including:
- Sleep chairs at each bedside.
- Shower rooms for parents.
- Lactation services with a hospital grade breast-pump in each baby’s room.
- Diurnal lighting to simulate the day/night cycle for your baby.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Services
Kapiolani's multidisciplinary NICU team provides care for newborns who need acute medical interventions. This includes:
- Breathing support, including conventional, high-frequency oscillator and jet ventilation for premature and full-term babies.
- Inhaled nitric oxide for severe lung problems.
- Complex pediatric surgical procedures.
- Cardiac interventions performed in the Kapiolani Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, the only one of its kind in Hawaii, as well as some open cardiothoracic surgical procedures.
- Whole-body cooling and real-time video seizure monitoring for infants who have suffered a low-oxygen event during the birth process.
- Advanced imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI.
- Dialysis for babies with kidney or metabolic problems.
- Highly advanced life-saving measures such as ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which runs a baby’s blood through a bypass machine, providing oxygen to the blood and returning it to the body.
- Rapid on-site access to a wide range of pediatric medical subspecialists.
- Perinatal comfort care and palliative care for newborn children with complex care needs.
Kapiolani also has the only dedicated Pediatric Transport team in the state of Hawaii. Every year dozens of babies born at other hospitals are brought to the Kapiolani NICU via ambulance or air transport by these transport team specialists.
The medical and nursing staff at Kapiolani provide 24-hour labor and delivery room support. Our expert, high-risk delivery team is always available to provide immediate assistance, resuscitation and stabilization to any baby who may need help after being born. The NICU delivery team also attends all cesarean section deliveries.
NICU Care Team
The NICU team provides life-saving measures in a structured environment employing state-of-the-art technology. Our team includes:
- Physicians, including attending neonatologists, pediatric neonatal hospitalists, neonatology fellows and pediatric residents.
- Neonatal nurse practitioners.
- Bedside staff nurses, charge nurses, clinical nurse educators and case managers.
- Respiratory therapists.
- Clinical pharmacists.
- Feeding and nutrition specialists, including dietitians, lactation consultants, and speech and rehabilitation services.
- Support service professionals, including social workers, behavioral health specialists and pastoral care.