This is one of the first licensed programs within the state of Pennsylvania and establishes St. Luke’s as a participant with 70 other NICU's nationwide. The network serves to help parents cope with NICU hospitalization. It was created by the March of Dimes, with the assistance of NICU families, who know exactly what other families need.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem Campus
801 Ostrum Street
St. Luke’s University Hospital – Allentown Campus
1736 Hamilton Street
Excellent Care for Babies and Their Families in the St. Luke’s NICUs
Reproductive medicine, high-risk pregnancies and multiple births require high quality medical care enhanced with the latest technology. The Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) at St. Luke’s Hospital at both the Bethlehem and Allentown Campuses are designed to provide a high level of care for babies and their families. The Level III NICU at St. Luke’s Hospital-Bethlehem Campus and the Level II NICU at the Allentown Campus are leading facilities for highly specialized care for multiple births, premature babies and full-term babies with medical problems.
Both NICUs are certified to provide the highest level of care to newborns and premature babies requiring intensive care. St. Luke’s Hospital NICUs are recognized in the "Vermont Oxford Network," a national network of NICUs formed to evaluate quality and outcomes of neonatal practices.
Staffed by fellowship-trained, board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and a team of specially trained nurses, lactation consultants, occupational and physical therapists, the NICU offers the very latest in technology and developmental techniques. St. Luke’s NICUs are equipped to perform CT scans, echocardiograms, EKGs, EEGs and ultrasound.
Our practice is to encourage parental involvement in all aspects of care. The NICUs at both campuses offer a family waiting room for visitors, a night watch room for parents to spend a night with their baby before going home and a private place to breast-feed or pump your milk. Care is provided by a skilled team of caregivers. Special lighting and noise control create an environment that is sensitive to the babies. Tours of the NICU are available to those who anticipate a high-risk delivery.Developmentally Sound Environment
Sound, light, touch and handling are significant environmental factors that play a role in the development of NICU babies, and proper developmental care for these tiny babies can make a big difference. Studies have demonstrated that stress from the environment can prolong hospitalization and compromise outcomes in preterm babies who require intensive medical care. Additionally, undue stress can have long-term consequences on brain development and organization. At St. Luke’s, NICU care is provided by a skilled team of caregivers who offer an environment that is sensitive to the baby's sensory development for best outcomes.Neonatal Developmental Follow-up Clinic
NICU babies born at St. Luke’s Hospital may be referred for neonatal developmental follow-up at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Through our exclusive partnership with St. Christopher’s, the program serves to identify high-risk babies who are born before 32 weeks gestation to assess behavioral, social and neurological development. Early identification and referral to beneficial therapies are keys to success.
NICU babies born at St. Luke’s Hospital New Beginnings Family Birth Centers who have difficulty breathing go home with a special apnea monitor that continually monitors and records infant heart rate and respiration. Before leaving the hospital, parents receive appropriate educational instruction vital to caring for their infant with apnea at home. Babies are seen on an outpatient basis at St. Luke’s North by one of our St. Christopher affiliated specialists until their apnea subsides.
The program is customized to meet the specific needs of the NICU staff and parents and incorporates special components to address the needs of siblings and extended family members. The network also offers continuing education for NICU professional staff on topics related to caring for the critically ill newborn and family centered care.
The program begins with a unit and staff assessment phase. Then an individualized education program is provided for all professional staff, including physicians, nurse practitioners, RNs, unit clerks, respiratory and anyone caring for the neonatal population and/or interacting with parents. Lastly, a parent information center is established. This includes access to a computer, printed educational information, and on line sharing with other NICU families. The goal is to reduce parental anxiety and confusion, while embracing a family centered care philosophy.