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The Oakwood Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Oakwood NICU is a critical care area that provides support to infants in need of very specialized services during a crucial time in their young lives. After birth, your baby must make many physical adjustments to life outside of the womb in order to make this transition successfully. It is not uncommon when issues arise (prematurity, infections, difficulty during labor / delivery, etc.) that interfere with this process. It is for these infants that the Oakwood NICU was created. The NICU experience can be both frightening and overwhelming – machines, procedures, and yes, doctors not of your choosing. You will be encouraged to ask questions of the staff, and to interact with your infant. The staff of the Oakwood Hospital - Dearborn is here to support you and your infant.

The unit is divided into 5 pods with babies staying potentially in any, or all of the pods during their stay based upon their particular needs. The design incorporates 4 isolation suites to minimize risk of spread of contagious infections, or for infants that are less tolerant of noise and/or light. The NICU admits about 500 critically ill infants annually. Approximately 10 percent of these newborns are transported from community hospitals located in southeastern Michigan. Our NICU is a participant in the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) and the Michigan VON Collaborative. These benchmarking databases allow our NICU to compare our babies with NICUs throughout the United States so that we can in turn improve our clinical outcomes.

Led by board certified neonatologists, our dedicated multidisciplinary team is comprised of neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP), neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, lactation specialists, and medical social workers. Working with this team are consultants from various pediatric subspecialties: surgery, cardiology, neurology, and ophthalmology. The neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, and registered nurses will provide all of the direct care for your baby and are in the NICU and available to you and your baby at all times. Our team works closely with families to ensure the best possible care will be provided to their infant. It is our team’s desire that each child thrive under our care and beyond.

Other things you need to know…
  • A family waiting room is available for your use – a place to get away to, a family meeting place, etc.
  • A “rooming-in” room is available for your use – prior to discharge families may by choice or at the physician’s request room-in with their infant prior discharge to gain additional confidence in their own abilities.
  • The NICU provides parking passes to families.
  • Visitors may be asked to step out of the NICU during the time the medical team rounds on the babies or when a procedure is being done on your infant or an infant near your baby.
  • Just as we take maintaining your privacy very seriously, we request that visitors limit their visit to their own baby – please don’t wander through the NICU nor ask staff about other infants.
  • Infants are often moved to different areas within the NICU – accommodating multiples (twins, triplets), changes in a baby’s condition or level of care, isolation needs, etc. Please don’t be alarmed – we make every effort possible to keep families informed of a change in an infant’s condition.
  • Infant pictures will be taken prior to discharge if you desire by an outside professional infant photography company.
  • Infants have various “screenings” done prior to discharge from the NICU (some of which are based upon the infant’s gestational age, weight, and / or condition): hearing, car seat / car bed infant check, retinal evaluation by pediatric ophthalmologists, and state newborn metabolic screening.
  • Immunizations are offered as indicated by your infant’s age.
  • Infant CPR training is available to parents by appointment.
  • Determine who your infant’s pediatrician or family practice physician is going to be before discharge
  • Discharge criteria includes (with rare exception):
    • Maintaining normal temperature in an open crib
    • Breastfeeding or nippling all feeds without difficulty and gaining weight consistently
    • Breathing room air without any breathing difficulty
    • Infant must be at least 34 weeks post-menstrual age
  • Parking passes or tokens are available to parents when they visit the NICU. Please ask either the NICU secretary or your nurse for a pass. 
Oakwood Hospital - Dearborn
3rd Floor - Skillman

We encourage you to come and be with your baby, and just as important, provide care for him or her.

At the time of the baby’s birth, two identification bracelets are given to each mother. One of the bracelets is to be worn by the mom and the other by a person of her choosing (i.e., dad, support person, etc.). In general, NICU visitation is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is important that when visiting you are healthy and have not had any recent exposures to contagious diseases (i.e., chicken pox, flu). In the interest of your baby’s welfare, we ask that everyone wash their hands and arms up to the elbows before touching the baby.

We close the NICU to family and visitors between 8:00 and 9:00AM daily for rounds and during multidisciplinary rounds on Tuesdays between 11:00AM and 12:00PM. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We want to be mindful of your right to privacy as a matter of respect and the law (HIPAA).

NOTE: If community infections such as an H1N1 influenza outbreak, we may limit visitation to the baby’s bracelet carriers to prevent the spread of disease. Sibling visitation may likewise be suspended. Infants, especially premature infants, are at great risk of contracting influenza. During these times we thank you for your cooperation as we promote the safest environment possible for our most vulnerable patients. 

Sibling Visitation
Brothers and sisters of our infants may visit under the following conditions:
  • Children must be 3 years of age or older.
  • Visitation is limited to Saturday and Sunday between 12:00PM and 3:00PM, and 5:00PM to 7:00PM.
  • Visits are limited to 15 minutes and a parent must be with each child
  • Everyone (parent and child) must scrub their hands and arms for 3 minutes.
  • Please make arrangements with the NICU staff prior to the visit to verify that circumstances are right for a visit.
  • Immunization card must be brought in for each visiting child (proof of Pertussis (whooping cough) and Varicella (chicken pox) vaccination).
  • Please DO NOT bring children in to visit if they have been exposed to infections or have symptoms of a cold or the flu.
  • Visitation may be suspended if there is a community outbreak of disease (i.e., H1N1 flu), or if activity in the NICU does not permit it.