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Methodist Healthcare


The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provides critical care to newborns who are ill or premature. Many factors may lead to a newborn being admitted to the NICU, including low birth weight or complications during delivery. The NICU staff works closely with parents to develop a treatment plan for their newborn.

Advanced neonatal intensive care in San Antonio

We prioritize your baby's health and comfort every step of the way, offering a comprehensive range of neonatal resources to help new infants who need extra care.

Methodist Healthcare is proud to offer the largest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in San Antonio. Our in-house, board-certified neonatologists and advanced nurse practitioners are available 24/7 to tend to the specialized healthcare needs of our hospital’s tiniest patients with gentle, attentive care.

To learn more about the NICU services we provide, contact our Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355.

A newborn may enter the NICU when he or she is born prematurely, needs surgical intervention, experienced difficulties during delivery or shows signs of distress during the first few days of life. We encourage parents to be active participants in the care of their infants before labor and delivery with a prenatal visit to our unit.

Features of our NICU

At Methodist Children's Hospital, our Level IV NICU and specialists in pediatric care treat children who have the most complex medical conditions using various tools and expertise, including:

  • Bedside surgical procedures
  • Conventional and non-conventional mechanical ventilator, including high-frequency oscillatory ventilation and an inhaled nitric oxide program
  • Full complement of subspecialty physician services for infants with rare congenital (present at birth) conditions
  • Life support
  • Respiratory therapy and nutritional management
  • Specialized nursing team for cardiac patients, total body cooling patients and patients with a central line
  • Safe Sleep Certified
  • Technologically advanced radiology

Neonatal and pediatric transport

Our neonatal and pediatric transport team provides state-of-the-art critical care transport services under the direct supervision of the pediatric intensivists and neonatologists at Methodist Children's Hospital. All of our transport team members are experienced critical care providers, trained in flight physiology and advanced pediatric life support skills.

Neonatal back transport service

Once an infant has graduated and no longer needs the level of care provided by the Methodist Children Hospital NICU, we offer a transfer service back to the intermediate care of the originating hospital until his or her discharge home.

The purpose of this service is to provide a safe transfer to a specialized nursery that can meet the infant’s needs closer to the family’s home. When the infant is ready, our neonatologist will collaborate with the patient’s pediatrician to ensure a safe transfer back to the originating hospital.

Maternal transport at Methodist Childrens Hospital

Our maternal transport team consists of two highly skilled and obstetrics-trained registered nurses and a paramedic. Our flight crew and ground paramedics are also qualified to provide medical consultation and oversee care by phone and/or radio from the time you leave the referring facility until the time you arrive at Methodist Children's Hospital.

In addition, a team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists are available for:

  • Amniocentesis
  • Caring for perinatal problems with the team of neonatologists and pediatric surgeons at Methodist Children’s Hospital
  • Coordination of maternal-fetal care for congenital anomalies
  • Fetal therapeutics, including percutaneous umbilical blood sampling
  • High-resolution ultrasound
  • Intrauterine transfusions
  • Maternal-fetal medicine consultation

Reasons for maternal-fetal transport

Though each baby needs to be evaluated on an individual basis, general guidelines can be given to those who are likely to require maternal-fetal or neonatal intensive care. If this level of care is anticipated, referral to a regional center may be desirable for several reasons:

  • High-risk pregnancies with certain conditions may require intensive care with highly specialized monitoring and evaluation capability for extended periods
  • Intrauterine transport is less stressful for a baby than neonatal transport.
  • Maternal-fetal transport allows mother and baby to be close to each other soon after delivery.
  • Regional centers provide highly sophisticated medical equipment and resources for patients who require a higher level of care.

Maternal-fetal transport should be decided jointly by the patients’ referring physician and the receiving regional center specialist.

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