COVID-19 Updates: Latest Information for Parents


The 60-bed neonatal intensive care unit at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego provides level 4 care, the highest designation available from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Along with our NICU, the Division of Neonatology provides of full range of neonatal services, including a Comprehensive Center for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and leading Neuro-NICU Program.

Rady Children’s Neonatology program has ranked among the top 10 in the nation for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, 2022).

U.S. News Best Hospitals Badge

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 neonatologists 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.

Nurse station at Main NICU

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.

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.

Division Achievements:

  • Only Level 4 NICU serving San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
  • Comprehensive care for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, with survival rate exceeding the national average.
  • Premier 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.
  • Ventilator-associated and bloodstream infections that remain below the published benchmark rate.

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