Caring for High-Risk Babies
Babies considered high-risk have a greater chance of complications due to conditions that occur during fetal development, pregnancy conditions of the mother, or problems that might occur during labor and birth. Some complications are unexpected and can occur without warning. Other times, there are certain risk factors that make problems more likely.
Fortunately, advances in technology
have helped improve the care of sick newborns. Under the care of UT
Southwestern’s specialized physicians and other health care providers, at-risk babies
today have much greater chances for surviving and getting better than ever
Care at Parkland Memorial Hospital
neonatologists provide care for both healthy and sick babies at Parkland Memorial
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Our 98-bed Level
III NICU averages about 1,400 admissions a year. Our team of physicians,
nurses, and support staff is highly experienced in caring for a wide array
of neonatal disorders. This teamwork has resulted in one of the lowest
mortality rates in the country.
- Newborn Nursery: With more
than 12,000 deliveries a year, the newborn nursery at Parkland is one of
the busiest in the country. Under the supervision of UT Southwestern faculty,
pediatric residents and pediatric nurse practitioners provide
comprehensive care for both term and near-term infants from birth through
- Labor and Delivery: We
provide a unique and highly trained neonatal resuscitation team that
attends more than 300 high-risk deliveries each month. We have the
capability to deliver cutting-edge delivery room care in even the most
complex cases, including EXIT (Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment) procedures.
Care at Children’s Medical
Babies with special metabolic,
cardiac, or surgical conditions can be transferred from other hospitals to
the Children's Medical Center NICU
, a Level IV NICU that is also supervised by UT
Southwestern faculty. This state-of-the-art, 47-bed facility
is the premier referral unit in North Texas. Our physicians work with well-trained and experienced nurses, nurse
practitioners, and other health care professionals to provide the best care, with
the patient's well-being as their first priority.
A wide range of additional neonatal
intensive care services are available that span the spectrum of patients from fetus
to age 5, including:
Evaluation and Treatment Alliance (FETAL): FETAL is the only program in North Texas offering
specialized care for pregnant women diagnosed with a fetal anomaly.
Patients, families, and their referring providers participate in prenatal
conferences with a highly specialized multidisciplinary team that brings
the expertise of UT Southwestern’s subspecialists to the baby at risk. A
personalized approach addresses each in utero diagnosis to
determine the best strategy for pregnancy, delivery, and continuity
of care after birth.
- TeleNICU: The state’s first dedicated
neonatal telemedicine service and one of the most sophisticated systems of its
kind in the nation, TeleNICU links specially trained, board-certified
UT Southwestern neonatologists at Children’s Medical Center to physicians
at other hospitals’ NICUs to consult and assist in the management of the
sickest and most fragile infants.
- Low Birth Weight Clinic (Thrive Program): Thrive provides
comprehensive medical and psychosocial follow-up treatment for NICU graduates
through intensive intervention, education, social services, and developmental
testing for high-risk infants from birth to age 5.
We also offer:
disease-specific teams, including the Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia and
Pulmonary Artery Hypertension Team, the Intestinal Failure Team, and the
Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Team
services provided through a family support team, including a psychologist,
social worker, case manager, child life specialist, and chaplain
ventilatory support, including high-frequency ventilation
radiology and other technology with neonatal expertise
membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
surgery and anesthesia program
and postnatal echocardiography
neonatal pharmacy services
EEG for evaluation of seizures
Care at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital
At William P. Clements Jr.
University Hospital, we provide the highest level of neonatal care in a warm
and inviting environment that helps parents to connect with their baby.
- Level III Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit: Clements University Hospital features 30 NICU
rooms, giving each baby his or her own room, in a space sized to easily
accommodate both hospital staff and parents. State-of-the-art neonatal
care including mechanical ventilation (both conventional and high
frequency), inhaled nitric oxide therapy, and outstanding nursing care are
provided to fragile infants. Parents can sleep in the room overnight with
their newborns – enabling parents to focus on their infant and build bonds
that will help the baby grow stronger. Research shows that more parental
involvement helps babies with weight gain, breastfeeding, and earlier
release from the hospital.
- Newborn Nursery: Our labor, delivery,
and recovery rooms combine modern technology with a warm, homelike environment
to provide a safe and comfortable experience for mothers and families. Our
highly experienced newborn physicians provide expert care for the newborn infant. We also have lactation
consultants to provide breastfeeding assistance.
Care at Southwestern Health Resources – Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
assumed care of newborn infants in the NICU and Special Care Nursery at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas (THD) in
2015, marking the beginning of Southwestern Health Resources, a close affiliation
between UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources.
- Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Located on the third floor of the Margot Perot
Center at Texas Health Dallas, a 47-bed Level III NICU provides 24-hour
comprehensive care to premature, high-risk, and ill infants. The program
offers therapies, equipment, and an experienced multidisciplinary
specialist team that includes UT Southwestern neonatologists, medical
subspecialists, and surgeons, as well as neonatal nurses, respiratory
therapists, pharmacists, and occupational therapists.
- Special Care Nursery:The Special Care Nursery provides specialized
services and medical monitoring for infants who have graduated from the
NICU but still require additional care. The nursery is staffed by board-certified
UT Southwestern neonatologists who provide around-the-clock expert
care for premature and special-needs infants. This 44-bed nursery is the
only Level II nursery in the Dallas area that offers private rooms.
Parents are able to room with their infants in a hotel-like environment
that includes a refrigerator, granite countertops, a flat-screen TV, and a
private bath, encouraging parents to spend as much time with their babies
- Thrive at THD: As an extension of the Thrive Program at Children’s, Thrive at THD includes skilled developmental
specialists and pediatricians who provide comprehensive developmental
testing for high-risk infants who have graduated from THD and surrounding
- FETAL at THD: The Fetal
Evaluation and Treatment Alliance (FETAL) now provides fetal consultations at Children’s Health Specialty
Center Park Cities, located in the Margot Perot Center for Women &
Infants at THD. Staffed by UT Southwestern neonatologists, pediatric
subspecialists, and surgical specialists, this program extends the
continuum of specialized care for pregnant women diagnosed with a fetal
physicians and scientists are actively engaged in research and innovation.
Current research consists of clinical trials, translational studies, and basic
science discovery that focus on a number of critical areas in pediatric health,
expanding treatment options, and redefining what is possible in pediatric
medicine. Find out more about our current research