A neonatal intensive care unit (commonly referred to the NICU) is an intensive care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants. A NICU is typically directed by one or more neonatologists and staffed by nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, resident physicians, and respiratory therapists. Many other ancillary disciplines and specialists are available at larger units.
Seattle Grace Hospital commanded a state-of-the-art NICU formerly under the direction of the Head of OB/GYN and Neonatal Surgery, Dr. Addison Montgomery. After her departure to LA, it is unknown who serves as the NICU-head; however, pediatric surgeons and other attendings on the surgical staff tended to act as the NICU's leadership.
St. Ambrose Hospital also houses a NICU, presumably under the direction of neonatologists and pediatric surgeons.
Notable Cases in the NICU
Sofia was born via emergency caesarean section at 23.5 weeks gestation, weighing 1 lb., 1 oz. After her birth, she spent the first 12 weeks of her life in the NICU before going home. During this time, she experienced a grade one brain bleed. Her VSD also failed to close naturally, so it required surgery, which was performed by Dr. Robert Stark as her mother, Arizona Robbins, looked on.
Notes and Trivia
- NICU gowns are typically worn by hospital staff and visitors prior to entering.
- Because Grey's Anatomy primarily focuses on surgeons, neonatologists are neither mentioned or featured, despite their real-world day-to-day involvement in the NICU.
- There's a closet in the NICU where they store baby stuff that parents leave behind when their baby doesn't make it.
- The following main characters' children were NICU-patients: