Children's Hospital Colorado
NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT (NICU)

NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT (NICU)

Our pioneering neonatal program treats the smallest patients at their most vulnerable, achieving the outcomes that affect the rest of their lives.

You want the best possible start to your baby’s life, and we want that for your baby and family. Children’s Hospital Colorado’s neonatal specialists provide expertise, compassion and support to ensure the best possible care for your baby, you and your family.

For more than 50 years, our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has been a nationally recognized leader in the treatment of critically ill infants. With 82 critical care beds in our hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and 50 critical care beds in our hospital in Colorado Springs, we have multiple locations to serve critically ill patients from Colorado and across the country.

At Children’s Colorado, we care for any condition that affects newborns, regardless of how rare or critical. We also have one of the highest NICU patient volumes in the nation, providing us a deeper level of experience and expertise for a vast array of rare and complex conditions. Despite this increased volume and complexity, our outcomes remain above the national average.

Why choose the NICU at Children’s Colorado?

We care for babies with rare and complex conditions on a regular basis. We also care for their families.

LEVEL IV NICU Highest distinction for our Anschutz Campus NICU
2,300+ Infants treated each year
ONLY Institution in a 9 state area ranked in Neonatal Care by U.S. News & World Report

Our NICUs offer a setting that feels as close to home as possible where we encourage parents to be with their babies as much as they can. We recognize that time in the NICU can be stressful, so we provide daily care briefings, psychological support and social workers as needed to support you in all aspects of your life.

And you can rest assured that your baby is being cared for by one the most experienced neonatal teams with some of the greatest capabilities in the nation. We have a large array of neonatal care programs from support services for lactation and mental health to advanced programs for breathing issues, low birth weight, brain development, specialized transportation and much more.

Highest level of NICU care

Our NICU on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora is designated as a Level IV facility by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is the highest level of distinction. This means we have the highest level of capabilities and experience to care for complex conditions. It also means that our NICU is staffed 24/7 by specialists who have extensive training in caring for premature babies and babies facing critical illness. We have surgical capabilities for congenital or acquired conditions, which are those that children are born with and those that happen over time after birth. Our pediatric anesthesiologists specialize in making surgery as safe and comfortable as possible, and our surgeons are trained specifically to care for infants.

Two NICUs to meet your needs

For babies needing critical care in Colorado and beyond, we offer two highly-capable NICU locations for your convenience – one in Aurora and one in Colorado Springs.

At our Aurora location, we offer the most advanced capabilities and we have the most qualified caregivers available to our patients around the clock. All of our children’s experts are on site at our Anschutz campus, so there is no waiting for the most qualified experts. For critically-ill infants, there is no better care in the Rocky Mountain region.

Our Level III NICU in Colorado Springs has demonstrated expertise in caring for infants born before 32 weeks of pregnancy and those with complex medical conditions. To earn this designation level, our Colorado Springs NICU cares for a large volume of patients and has care teams available 24 hours a day who have specialized training in neonatology and other necessary subspecialties.

Care beyond the NICU

Helping your baby come into the world as healthy as possible is just the start of our work. We’re also focused on your child’s long-term health. This is why we coordinate with some of the best pediatric subspecialists in the nation who provide care for your child in our NICU. When you come to a children’s hospital NICU like ours, you’re surrounded by an entire network of caregivers who specialize in caring just for kids.

If you deliver in our Colorado Fetal Care Center, you will be just down the hall from your baby so you both can recover near each other under some of the best care in the nation. We also coordinate every day with pediatric specialists in cardiology, breathing, neuroscience, pediatric surgery and many other areas if your baby needs specialized care for an associated condition.

Many of the babies born in our NICUs require care after they go home. We’re experienced in making this as safe and easy as possible. We will provide ongoing care through our specialty clinics and coordinate with your child’s primary care doctor to ensure your child can focus on being a child as much as possible.

Pioneering neonatology providers

Our neonatal doctors have pioneered many critical developments in neonatal care, and in many cases, were the first in the world to use new therapies, including:

  • Surfactant replacement for premature babies’ lungs
  • Inhaled nitric oxide therapy for pulmonary hypertension in both full-term and premature babies
  • Brain cooling for perinatal brain injury
  • Optimal nutritional strategies for low birth weight babies

Our neonatal team strives to elevate care for the smallest, most vulnerable patients. We continue to push our research teams forward, regularly ushering in new innovations, practices and techniques from the lab to the bedside.

Learn about our neonatology research

Award winning care in our Anschutz NICU

Our neonatal care team has earned recognition for outstanding outcomes from organizations across the country and the world. We provide capabilities and experience few other NICUs in the country can so that you feel comfortable when your baby is here.

Our NICU is consistently ranked as one of the top NICUs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

We are one of 16 centers worldwide recognized at the platinum level by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. This means that we have met the highest standards for utilizing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to care for newborns with various life-threatening heart and lung conditions.

These awards recognize the dedication of more than 450 specialists who understand that caring for newborns is different and have dedicated themselves to achieving the best outcome for your baby.

Who we treat in neonatal intensive care

Our NICU facilities admit infants up to 3 months of age from Denver, Colorado Springs, the surrounding region and across the country. We also provide care for babies with complex conditions who are older than 3 months, when necessary. For preterm and newborn infants with conditions that require high-level intensive care, surgery or specialized and innovative treatments, the Children’s Colorado NICU is the premiere destination in our region.

Since we see more than 300 infants annually who require surgery while in our NICU, our providers have developed specialized teams and care pathways to provide the best outcomes for these infants. This experience has also given us a deep expertise in caring for an array of rare and complex conditions.

In coordination with our Colorado Fetal Care Center, we care for moms and babies with fetal anomalies before, during and after birth. When necessary, you can deliver your baby in the Maternal Fetal Care Unit in our hospital on the Anschutz campus. This allows you to be close to your baby and the best care.

We also provide care for babies who are born elsewhere and discover after birth that they need a higher level of care. Our experienced neonatal providers coordinate care for babies born with multiple anomalies or conditions simply too severe for a lower level of care.

Often, babies stay in our NICU for an extended period. As babies progress, we work with our experts in other specialties until they are well enough to go home. We will prepare you and your family to be partners in the care of your baby at home.

Contact our NICU

For more information about our neonatal services, please call 303-724-2840. For providers who want to refer a patient, consult a specialist, request a transport of find any other information, please call OneCall at 720-777-3999.

Children's Colorado in the news

9News

Doctors didn't think this baby would ever see her first birthday

May 22, 2019

When Kelly and Matt Shearer learned their unborn baby had a rare and life-threatening condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), they decided to move to Denver to give their baby a chance at life. Ken Liechty, MD, performed Emma's CDH repair when she was 1 day old; now she's celebrating her first birthday.

9News

Baby Makes History as the First Patient in the Region to Receive Stem-Cell Therapy for HLHS

September 9, 2018

Thanks to a special partnership between Children’s Colorado and Mayo Clinic, baby Calista became the first patient in Colorado to receive regenerative therapy for a rare congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Children’s Colorado is the only hospital in the region offering access to this groundbreaking clinical trial.

9News

Celebrating Mother's Day in the NICU

May 12, 2017

Elaine Hungenberg spent Mother's Day grateful to be holding her daughter Adalyn. Adalyn was born at 28 weeks and has spent more than two months in the NICU. "When you walk these halls, you'll meet a million heroes every day," said Hungenberg. "A mom's biggest fear is losing a child or having a sick child, and these women in this hallway are living out everyone else's nightmare and they're doing it with a strength that will utterly amaze you," she said.

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