Neuro-NICU at Phoenix Children's Hospital
Offering the best outcomes for newborn babies with neurological complications
The Neuro-NICU represents a collaboration between two of our renowned Centers of Excellence, the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's Hospital and the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In 2009, Phoenix Children's became the second children's hospital in the country to offer a comprehensive Neuro-NICU program.
The Neuro-NICU treats babies with neonatal neurological diagnoses including birth hypoxia (Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, HIE) which is a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching fetal brain tissues. According to national statistics, an estimated one to two live births for every 1,000 are at risk for birth hypoxia.
Every year, Phoenix Children's team of neonatal specialists care for numerous babies suffering from a moderate to severe birth hypoxic insult. The most severe cases can result in extreme disabilities (mental retardation, motor dysfunction and/or seizures) or death.
The ability to quickly recognize HIE and begin treatment within 6 hours after birth minimizes the effect of HIE.
Dr. Cristina Carballo, a neonatologist, leads the comprehensive Neuro-NICU program within the Hospital as the Medical Director.
Collaborative care in the Neuro-NICU
We offer this medical expertise in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment: neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neurodevelopmental support, follow-up clinic and research. This level of monitoring distinguishes the Neuro-NICU as cutting-edge in its diagnosis and treatment of neurologically-affected babies.
With specialized medical equipment and advanced neonatal and pediatric specialists, Dr. Carballo and her team makes the Neuro-NICU uniquely qualified to treat neonatal patients.
Our Neuro-NICU provides a comprehensive plan of care that is developed for the families to make the transition to home with follow-up appointments for continued neurodevelopmental care.
Neuro-NICU treatment options
Dr. Carballo and her team have expanded their treatment options in the Neuro-NICU; assessing a patient's unique needs to treat birth hypoxic trauma (see Macie's remarkable story).
Neuro-NICU treatment options include:
- Cooling therapy:
* Whole-body cooling with a Gaymar® cooling blanket
- Advanced bedside brain monitoring and specialized imaging, including MRI and SPECT
- Developmental therapies, including occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy
Kimberlee Allred, Neuro-NICU coordinator at (602) 933-1444.