Neuro-NICU Story DocsThe Neuro-NICU Program, co-directed by neonatologists Jose Honold, M.D., and Crystal Le, M.D., and neurologist Jeffrey Gold, M.D., aims to prevent brain injury in infants through detecting and preventing neurological problems.

Founded in 2012, the program was one of the first of its kind in the country; currently, it is one of a select few providing the highest level of specialized care for neonates at risk for neurological injury. Many of our patients are transported to Rady Children’s by our own Neonatal Transport team from other hospitals in the Southern California region.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of board certified neonatologists, neonatal neurologists, pediatric surgeons, neuroradiologists, specially trained neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners trained in neonatal neurology, as well providers such as respiratory care therapists, physical and occupational therapists, palliative care specialists, social workers and lactation consultants. The entire team works together, around the clock, to provide our patients with the best care modern medicine has to offer.

The conditions we treat include stroke, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, intraventricular hemorrhage, arteriovenous malformations, genetic disorders, brain malformations, extreme prematurity and related conditions such as seizures. Seizures, especially those that occur in the first month of life, destroy brain cells and can cause learning difficulties, memory problems, developmental problems and a predisposition to developing epilepsy later in life.

Infants who are exhibiting signs of seizures, such unstable vital signs or lack of alertness, are immediately put on an electroencephalogram (EEG) to check their brain’s electrical activity. If they begin to have seizures, they are treated with anticonvulsant medication.

There is also a large computer server for the EEGs with protected online access, which enables doctors to monitor brain signals remotely. As a result, seizures can be detected even when physicians are not physically at the hospital.