Neonatology is a subspecialty of pediatrics that consists of the medical care of newborn infants, especially the ill or premature newborn infant. It is a hospital-based specialty, and is usually practiced in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The principal patients of neonatologists are newborn infants who are ill or requiring special medical care due to prematurity, low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, congenital malformations (birth defects), sepsis, pulmonary hypoplasia or birth asphyxias.
Our NICU treats approximately 500 patients per year. There are no maternity services within GOSH so this is not a traditional NICU.
The NICU primarily admits general surgical neonates referred from other hospitals, they are often preterm but not necessarily so. We often treat neonates with necrotising enterocolitis, bowel obstruction, oesophageal atresia, tracheoesophageal fistulae and other congenital anomalies.
Neonates with complex medical and surgical problems from other specialties are also admitted.
There is extensive research by both surgical and medical teams into causes and treatments for necrotising enterocolitis in neonates.
The NICU is part of the North Thames Central Neonatal Network. In this collaboration we aim to provide the best service possible for neonates by sharing best practice and service opportunities with our colleagues in UCLH, Whittingdon, Royal Free, Chase Farm and Barnet. We have regular meetings with colleagues from UCH neonatal unit to discuss shared patients and best practice.
Our staff on NICU also have a strong support network for families and there are regular midwife clinics, family liaison nurses, psychological support and breast feeding specialists available.