The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides specialized care for critically ill babies who have never been outside of a hospital environment. Our NICU has level IV status, which is the highest ranking a hospital can receive. NICU is a 39-bed, high-risk unit for premature infants and low birth weight newborns. Most are born at WVU Medicine Children’s, but some arrive via ambulance or helicopter transport from hospitals around the state. An average of 450 premature infants (some weighing less than 2 pounds) are admitted to the NICU each year. These babies stay from a week to more than 300 days. Many require support or surgery in the first few days of life.

Highly specialized neonatologists work closely with our obstetricians, surgeons, respiratory specialists, advanced practice, and neonatal trained nurses for optimum care.While in the NICU, your baby will be on a special monitor to help staff watch his or her heart rate and breathing very closely. This is the reason for the tubes and wires. While the appearance of this equipment may be a little concerning to you, they generally aren’t uncomfortable for babies.Talk to the nursing staff about the best time to visit your baby. When you visit, you will need to follow specific handwashing guidelines, which the staff will explain to you. If you have a cold, fever, or other infection, check with the nurse before visiting. You will receive more information about our visiting policy on your first visit.

You may bring two washable, plastic toys to your baby. Babies like black and white or brightly colored pictures. If you have other children, they can send artwork to put up on your baby’s bed. Other ideas are a music box, photos of family members, and a tape recording or your voice or music.

You may call the unit at 304-598-4140 any time, day or night, to check on your child. Please relay information to family and friends.

  • You may visit at any time, 24 hours a day, except during shift changes, which are 7 to 8 a.m., 3 to 4 p.m., 7 to 8 p.m., and 11 p.m. to midnight, rounds, and admissions
  • Only two people may visit at one time
  • Wash your hands before entering and before leaving the NICU
  • Sibling visits must be arranged with the nurse
  • If you or any visitor has a cold, fever, or other infection, check with the nurse before visiting

WVU Medicine Health Report: NICVIEW