The 60-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego provides level 4 care, the highest designation available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Our NICU is a major referral center for the most critically ill newborns, many of whom suffer from severe heart and lung conditions or are born extremely premature. Expert care is provided by the Neonatology division of Rady Children’s Specialists of San Diego.
Designed for the best possible care and comfort, our NICU has homelike private and semi-private rooms to help parents bond with their newborns. The rooms are equipped with specially designed chairs, which enable all our infants to have skin-to-skin contact with mom and dad. Learn more.
Rady Children’s also operates level 2 NICUs at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista and Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, along with a level 3 NICUs at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Palomar Medical Center Escondido and Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta.
Rady Children’s NICU at Rancho Springs received the 2018 Top Performer Award from Professional Research Consultants Inc. (PRC) for Overall Quality of Care, recognizing our unit as the highest-scoring NICU in PRC’s database.
Additionally, we provide services (on site and on a consultative basis) to other hospitals throughout San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties, across the nation and as far away as Saipan. The neonatologists of Rady Children’s Specialists of San Diego also staff the NICUs at Pomerado Hospital and UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center.
Video: Learn about our innovative Neonatology program
Throughout the community, we continue to enhance the infrastructure for providing care. In December 2016, the Rady Children’s NICU at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla relocated to a new space. Jane O’Donnell, M.D., medical director, will now lead a 14-patient unit with spacious private rooms. The Rady Children’s NICU at Palomar Medical Center has moved to the new Palomar Medical Center Escondido on Citracado Parkway. Dave Golembeski, M.D., medical director, will oversee the soon-to-begin construction of an entirely new space at this location.
In November 2016, the UC San Diego Hillcrest Medical Center NICU moved to the new UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center on the La Jolla campus. The new unit, under the direction of Erika Fernandez, M.D., has 52 private rooms with state-of-the-art monitoring technology.
- Only Level 4 NICU serving San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
- Leading Neuro-NICU Program in Southern California and throughout the country.
- State-of-the-art telemedicine robots on site for patient consultations, enabling faster diagnoses and treatment decisions.
- Among the first in the nation to purchase “SimBaby,” an amazingly realistic doll (about the size of a 6 month old) that can be used to simulate infant emergencies. (Watch the video and read our news release.) We now have a second simulation doll that is newborn size.
- One of the largest neonatal transport services in California, transporting infants throughout Southern California and from Hawaii.
- Recipient of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization’s Center of Excellence Award for our ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) program. ECMO is a highly advanced life-support system used on infants with life-threatening heart or lung problems.
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia survival rate that remains higher than the published best-practice rate.
- Ventilator-associated and bloodstream infections that remain below the published benchmark rate.
In the News
- Improving Organoids to Advance Understanding of Lung Development and Disease, Select Science, features Sandra Leibel M.D.
- Fast DNA Sequencing Can Offer Diagnostic Clues When Newborns Need Intensive Care, National Public Radio, features Nathaly Sweeney, M.D., M.P.H.
- San Diego NICU Nurse Known for Writing Poems for Families Honored, 10news.com, features Linda Black, R.N.
- Medical Teams at Rady Children’s Hospital Train for Emergencies by Using Simulation Dolls, kusi.com, features, Charles Sauer, D.O., and Tamara Sayegh, R.N.
- Rady Children’s Hospital: Realistic Training That Will Save Lives, cbs8.com, features Charles Sauer, D.O., and Melisa Cameron, M.D.
- Rady Children’s NICU at Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta Wins Top Award, Valley News, features the Rady Children’s NICU at Rancho Springs Medical Center.
- Babies Who Started Solids Slept Better: Study, WSAU News, features Jae Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
- Composition of Complex Sugars in Breast Milk May Prevent Future Food Allergies, UC San Diego Health, features Lars Bode, Ph.D.
- A Mother’s Day Gift for a Struggling Baby: Loving Attention, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Rady Children’s NICU
- Proceedings from the 2017 International Conference on Human Milk Science and Innovation Are Focus of New Supplement in the Journal of Breastfeeding Medicine, PR Newswire, features Rob Knight, PhD and Lars Bode, Ph.D. (press release)
- Rady Children’s NICU Celebrates Families at Annual Rancho Springs Medical Center Reunion,Valley News, features the Rady Children’s NICU at Rancho Springs Medical Center.
- International Conference on Human Milk Science & Innovation Explores Scientific Potential and Clinical Relevance of Human Milk, PR Newswire, features Lars Bode, Ph.D., and Rob Knight, Ph.D.
- Reader Has Great Patient Experience at Palomar NICU, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.
- Rady Children’s Hospital Gains in National Rankings, The San Diego Union-Tribune, features Denise Suttner, M.D.
- Are Human Milk Oligosaccharides the Magic Bullet for Necrotizing Enterocolitis?, Nature, cites research by Lars Bode, Ph.D., Jae Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
- Babies on Drugs: Another Sad Chapter in California’s Opioid Saga, Times of San Diego, features Richard Song, M.D., and David Golembeski, M.D.
- Doctors Reconnect with Families at Rady Children’s NICU Reunion Party, cbs.com, features Gail Knight, M.D., Rady Children’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
- NEC Society Announces Nation’s First Necrotizing Enterocolitis Symposium, Yahoo Finance, features Jae Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
- MURRIETA: Rady Partnership Delivering for Rancho Springs, The Press Enterprise, features Richard Song, M.D
- Dr. Gail Knight Inspires as First African-American Woman Chief of Staff at Rady Children’s Hospital, kpbs.org
- New Program at Rady Aims to Prevent Brain Injury in Infants, U-T San Diego
- Fetal Care Program
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine (San Diego Perinatal Center)
- Pediatric Surgery
- Rady Children’s Hospital Emergency Transport (CHET)
Support Our Program
One hundred percent of your tax-deductible gift benefits Rady Children’s. To make a donation, click here.