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The Most Fragile Babies in the Nation's Capital Have a New Home

Children's National Moves Newborn into State-of-the-Art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty-nine fragile newborns have a new home at Children's National Medical Center. The new, state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) opened Sunday, when the babies were transported from the hospital's existing NICU.

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"This NICU was designed with input from our families, nurses, and medical care team members, and we couldn't be more proud," said Billie L. Short, MD, Chief of Neonatology at Children's National.

The 54-bed NICU at Children's National is the only Level IIIC NICU in national capital area, the highest distinction available by the American Academy of Pediatrics. That ranking is conferred on NICUs that offer ECMO (extra corporeal membrane oxygenation or heart/lung bypass), among other cutting edge services. Advanced practices and excellent outcomes have earned Children's NICU a top 10 ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

Other features of the new NICU include:

  • 46 single patient rooms along with 2-4 bed pods providing family support and privacy.
  • Eight beds designated specifically by the neonatal neurology team for more intensive care and focus on neurological monitoring.
  • Negative pressure isolation capabilities, in designated isolation rooms.
  • Two family waiting areas, one designed for extended family with a sibling play zone.
  • Two parent transition rooms, allowing parents to spend the night to prepare to go home.
  • Refrigerator at each bedside for storage of breast milk.
  • Dim lighting, soothing colors and a quiet atmosphere to account for developmental needs.

Dr. Short is part of the national cadre of neonatologists credited with "solving" lung development complications due to prematurity or injury at birth. Children's National is now focused on neuroprotection, to protect the brain and ensure that fragile newborns get a solid start once they leave the NICU.

Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a leader in innovative treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children's has served the nation's children for more than 135 years. Children's National is ranked among the best pediatric hospitals in America by US News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit

SOURCE Children's National Medical Center
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