Caring for Vulnerable Babies: The NICU

Careers at American Family Children's Hospital

Caring for Vulnerable Babies: The NICU

American Family Children's Hospital NICU manager Angie Baker

Nurse manager Angie Baker talks about why the Level IV NICU is needed in Madison. Read more

Connect with us - careers at American Family Children's Hospital; Madison, WisconsinImagine a pregnant mother living in Janesville, beaming with the glow that comes with anticipation of her first baby.
At a routine ultrasound during the seventh month of pregnancy, a potentially serious abnormality is found with the baby.

The mother is referred to the UW Health Maternal-Fetal Medicine High Risk Perinatal Clinic, where a heart defect is confirmed. The parents are counseled by a pediatric cardiologist and neonatologist about the need for a pediatric heart surgeon to correct the defect.

A plan is made to deliver the infant at term in Madison, but early during the eighth month of pregnancy, the baby is born in Janesville by emergency C-section due to maternal hemorrhage. The infant is rushed by our CHETA ambulance to American Family Children’s Hospital for a complex six-hour open heart surgery.

To ensure the very best outcome, babies like this should be treated at a children’s hospital equipped with the most complex level of neonatal care unit possible. Known as a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), this service provides lifesaving care for the most vulnerable newborns.

Accordingly, American Family Children's Hospital constructed a 14-bed unit of this nature to allow families who need this advanced level of care to be as close to home as possible with their baby. Open since May 2014, this NICU complements other neonatal intensive care units in Madison and throughout the region, making American Family Children's Hospital a highly specialized regional referral center for the very sickest newborn babies.