Small patients, big medical needs

NICU team provides lifeline for some of our most vulnerable patients.

By: Lauren Gajda

For more than 50 years, the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Neonatal ICU team has cared for our tiniest patients. Our neonatal teams have the ability to treat the most complex cases. On average, we treat more than 800 babies each year in our NICUs. This includes 500 babies born here with another 300 transferred from other facilities. These patients can’t make it on their own yet: Many are born prematurely and need breathing assistance, while others are born with major birth defects that require surgery. No matter the challenge, our NICU care teams work around the clock to give these babies the best chance for survival.

Here’s a look at a baby’s NICU journey after arriving from our Labor and Delivery Unit

Many of our NICU patients are transferred following birth in our Labor and Delivery Unit due to prematurity or other complex conditions. When a baby is transferred from another facility to receive our expert care, they are taken directly to our NICU. Our faculty and staff quickly establish a connection with each baby’s family. Parents play a critical role, spending countless hours at their baby’s bedside through the duration of the stay. During that time, the care team works closely with them to provide support and education. Here’s what happens when babies are cared for by our NICU team.




Photos by Mindy Miller