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Neonatal Services (NICU)

UC Irvine Health Neonatology Services provide comprehensive care for critically-ill premature and full-term infants. The state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UC Irvine Medical Center is one of only two Level III NICUs in Orange County.

The designation is only given to units that meet highly rigorous standards set by the state and is staffed and equipped to care for newborns who are extremely sick, premature or may require surgical intervention. In addition, UC Irvine Medical Center has the only combined tertiary level perinatal and neonatal program in Orange County to care for high-risk pregnancies and newborns requiring a higher level of care, including twins, triplets and other multiples.

For more information, call us at 714-456-6933

Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

UC Irvine Medical Center has one of Orange County’s highest-level NICUs to care for critically-ill newborns with the most challenging health complications. It is a Level III unit, meaning it meets the most rigorous standards set by the state of California. The 45-bed facility houses advanced diagnostic tools and technologies to treat a wide range of conditions, including brain injury, respiratory failure and gastroesophageal reflux disease. It specializes in caring for the smallest of the premature infants and infants born of multiple gestations.

Multidisciplinary approach

UC Irvine Medical Center is the only facility in Orange County that offers specialized care in one location for high-risk expectant mothers and their babies. The advanced obstetric and neonatal care provided by the UC Irvine Health Maternal-Fetal Program can mitigate many of the complications associated with high-risk pregnancies. Our multidisciplinary program is Orange County’s only service that combines specialists in high-risk obstetrics with experts in newborn care and has produced some of the nation’s best outcomes for complicated pregnancies.

Infants in the NICU are cared for by a multidisciplinary team that includes highly-trained neonatologists, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and social workers. 

Our neonatologists have cared for babies as young as 23 weeks old and weighing less than one pound. Our state-of-the-art NICU is equipped to treat the most complex cases, including babies born with brain injury from asphyxia and respiratory failure.

In addition to prematurity, babies can be admitted into the NICU because they are underweight, have a congenital birth defect, a condition that needs surgery or a medical condition that requires special attention, including:
  • Apnea of prematurity
  • Jaundice
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)
  • Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Sepsis 

Learn about neonatal conditions and how we treat them ›

We know that having an infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may be a difficult time for you and your family. Our intention is to provide the best possible emotional and physical care while ensuring security for your infant. Here is some additional information about our facility to help you while your premature or critically ill newborn is receiving care.

We have many local accommodation and dining options, as well as spiritual support services and more.

Read more about the services we provide to parents ›

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