University Hospital's NICU earns highest-level designation

AAP determines facility is a Level IV


SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Department of State Health Services has designated University Hospital as a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, the hospital announced Wednesday.

A Level IV designation means the NICU provides the highest level of care possible for premature and sick babies, according to a news release.

A new state law in Texas requires an expert review of a hospital’s NICU and maternal programs and capabilities -- based on the level of care they can deliver -- by March 2018. The law also requires hospitals to pass a rigorous site visit by experts to verify those capabilities, the release said.

University Hospital’s Level IV distinction has been verified by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The academy found no deficiencies in the care provided in the 58-bed NICU at University Hospital, according to a statement.

“University Hospital NICU shows a clear commitment from physician and nursing leadership to provide integrated and excellent care for newborns,” the AAP said.

University Hospital’s NICU treats about 700 infants a year from throughout Texas. 

A team of neonatologists from UT Health San Antonio is available around the clock. 

A dedicated pharmacist, respiratory therapists, a clinical lab and specially trained staff round out the team. Its Neonatal Nutrition & Bone Institute is studying new and better ways to ensure healthy development of newborns, the hospital said.

It works hand-in-hand with advanced programs such as heart surgery, liver transplants, bowel rehabilitation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO — programs and therapies only available at a research institution.

Finally, it offers the only comprehensive follow-up program in South Texas for babies after they leave, including the NICU Graduate Clinic and the PREMIEre program, according to the release.

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