Level 2 or Level 3 NICU

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
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Re : Level 2 or Level 3 NICU

Postby season » Thu Mar 12, 2009 06:47 pm

I agree that gestation is not the only criteria for level II vs level III. DS was born at 34 weeks, but within a few hours he need the vent - and was transferred form where he was born with level II to Childrens which had level III. When he was back down to level II a baby was deiviered at 32 weeks - and stayed at level II as she never had breathing difficulties.

Around here babies graduate form level III to II before going home, so the issue you bring up about going home may not be addressed the same here as it is in your area.

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Re : Level 2 or Level 3 NICU

Postby julieb » Thu Mar 12, 2009 02:27 pm

DS was in a level 2 NICU and they took any baby who was born at the hospital. Some babies were transferred to Children's, which has a higher level NICU with specialists on staff. We were lucky and Mason stayed at the level 2 NICU and the next baby will be born there as well. That same NICU has since gotten their level 3 approval though and I know they were close to getting it when we were there. As pp have said, it is all about what you are comfortable with.

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Re : Level 2 or Level 3 NICU

Postby rebeccac » Thu Mar 12, 2009 01:56 pm

DS was born at 35 weeks and thankfully the hospital in which I delivered has a Level 3 NICU. (I ALWAYS tell women who are pregnant to choose a hospital with a NICU just in case it is needed, even if they are having a problem-free pregnancy.)

The hospital where we were was right next door to another hospital without a NICU and it was so sad to see sick moms have to make the trek over to see their babies when all I had to do was make it down the hall....

I guess it boils down to what you are comfortable with and what the doctor advises as well.

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Re : Level 2 or Level 3 NICU

Postby amanda » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:10 am

Hi Alissa!
I believe that every hospital is probably different. I'll give an example: I have a friend who is a NICU nurse in Savannah, GA. There are two hospitals there that have NICU's. One has a level 3/4 and one has a level 2. The level 2 NICU handles babies who (and this where it gets a little fuzzy) have no breathing issues. On the other hand, if the other hospital is slammed (and it often is) and the baby is on C-PAP but otherwise pretty stable, pretty far along gestationally, mom has had steroids (all the variables changes so much, it's kind of a 'gut' feeling thing from what I get) they will keep them there.

So, to answer the question - I truly do think that it depends. As you already know from your NICU experience a baby born at 25-32/33 weeks is *probably* going to need intensive or at least potentially intensive care so I would think that having that care available, without any type of transportation necessary, would be a good thing. On the otherhand, a baby born at 34-39 weeks is *usually* going to need less intensive care (I star that because sometimes those 34-36 babies are a little tricky if mom hasn't had steroids)so even if they start in level 3 NICU they are probably going to transfer down to a level 2 (my hospital called it the special care nursery unlike the level 3 which was really a NICU)pretty quick. Then again, there are those babies who just surprise everyone, regardless of gestation!

I hope this helps - I'm sure too that others will have different opinions so hopefully you'll get some answers...

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Re : Level 2 or Level 3 NICU

Postby jenn » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:52 am

Alissa, Ya' know I'm not sure. But I'll will check with my fellow mods and be sure to get back to you with an answer.

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Level 2 or Level 3 NICU

Postby mommy2maddie » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:14 am

At what week gestation will a level 2 nicu take a baby? Is every hospital different? There is a level 2 nicu way closer to my home than the level 3 is and having my daughter it would probably be easier to travel there. The only problem I have with the level 2 is that if your baby has a bradycardia they have to stay a whole week after that, until they dont have any for a whole week. At the level 3, my DD had bradycardias the day she left she just came home on a mointor, so I dont know if it is worth it. Any insight would be apperciated!

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