Neonatology

The 72-bed Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is a member of the State of Florida Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Centers and serves as a referral base for North Central Florida, the Florida Panhandle and surrounding areas of Georgia. 

Each year, we support nearly 3,000 deliveries and 850 admissions (~500 inborn) of all gestational ages (range 22-42 weeks) and provide care for all surgical diagnoses including complex congenital heart disease and congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Patient management is multidisciplinary, and the NICU uses not only neonatologists, but also pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, as well as dedicated neonatal pharmacists, a nutritionist and occupational therapists. 

Our faculty members are proficient in the use of nitric oxide, extracorporeal oxygenation, or ECMO, and high-frequency ventilation to provide high-quality care. Our Extracorporeal Life Support program supports neonatal respiratory failure and congenital diaphragmatic hernia patients. 

Therapeutic hypothermia is used to treat 18 to 25 patients annually in our NICU, and we are a leader in Florida for using this treatment. In addition, patients with metabolic diseases come to us since we work closely with our gene therapy programs, which are world-renowned for developing new therapeutic strategies for treatment of pediatric diseases. We are also a national leader in neonatal sepsis and neonatal nutrition. 

Transport of out-born infants referred to UF Health is provided by UF Health ShandsCair, a state-of-the-art regional transport team that provides crucial stabilization and intensive care services (including nitric oxide, therapeutic hyperthermia and prostaglandin infusions) during interhospital transports using helicopters, a fixed-wing jet and multiple ground ambulances.