Extremely Low Birth Weight Program

Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies, those born weighing 1,000 grams or less, require very specialized care. In the San Diego area, the sickest of these infants with the greatestELBW complications are cared for by the ELBW team at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Rady Children’s operates the region’s only level IV NICU and is the primary referral center for these infants.

The ELBW team consists of NICU nurses who complete intensive in-house training. This advanced training hones their skills to recognize the complications associated with an extremely low birth weight, reviews the underlying mechanisms and interactions of these complications, and teaches techniques in providing the specialized care required for ELBW patients in their first weeks of life.

The EBLW team meets regularly to learn from recent cases in the NICU and to review the latest literature on the most current standards of care. This commitment to continuous learning not only ensures the highest level of care for the smallest and most fragile patients, but builds peer leaders and subject matter experts who improve care and outcomes across the unit.