Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center provides the area’s most specialized care for the smallest patients, from premature infants to sick “term” newborns. As a Level III NICU in Idaho Falls, Idaho, we are equipped to care for babies born as early as 22 weeks gestation.

If pre-labor complications are expected, please call (208) 227-2777 to find perinatologists and neonatologists for early consultation.

Our neonatal care team

The region's only neonatologists (pediatricians with years of subspecialty training in caring for newborns) work at Eastern Idaho Regional and focus exclusively on the care of the most fragile infants.

Physicians: Our neonatologists collaborate with skilled perinatologists, OB/GYNs and pediatricians on high-risk cases. They provide consultation on high-risk pregnancies, are bedside at delivery and monitor development after birth.

Nurses: Our NICU is staffed by nearly 50 registered nurses (RNs) with national certifications in neonatal care, most with more than 10 years of experience. The charge nurse will be your first point of contact if you have issues, concerns or compliments about the care of your baby. The unit manager is your second contact, if you feel your issue has not been resolved by the charge nurse.

To speak to the unit manager on duty, please call (208) 529-7190.
Supporting interdisciplinary teams: We have expert interdisciplinary staff needed to support neonatal care, including board-certified lactation consultants, registered dietitians, lab technicians, licensed social workers and occupationalphysical, respiratory and speech therapists. We also have outpatient clinics for pediatric cardiology (monthly) and perinatology (weekly).

Transport teams: Our neonatal transport nurses are RNs who have training in pediatric advanced life support (PALS); neonatal resuscitation program (NRP); and sugar and safe care, temperature, airway, blood pressure, lab work and emotional support (STABLE).

Specialized neonatal care in Idaho Falls

Our neonatal team’s specialized expertise, coupled with state-of-the-art technology, provides the region's highest level of neonatal intensive care.

Maternal-fetal care

  • Preterm labor
  • Preterm rupture of membranes
  • Severe pregnancy-induced hypertension or other hypertensive complications
  • Antepartum hemorrhage
  • Multiple gestation
  • Malpresentation
  • Medical complications of pregnancy (diabetes, hepatitis, etc.)
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Inadequate progress in labor

Newborn care

  • All gestational ages, especially 34 weeks or younger (due to high likelihood of feeding difficulties and respiratory problems)
  • Low birth weight
  • Severe infection
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Persistent respiratory distress
  • Minor congenital malformations requiring special diagnostic procedures or treatments
  • Sequelae of hypoxic ischemic events with persistent evidence of multisystem organ dysfunction

Visiting the NICU

Parents and other family members are encouraged to visit the NICU as much possible. Parents who are actively involved in their baby’s care during the hospital stay promote a healthier baby. Multidisciplinary rounds are led weekdays at 10:00 a.m. to discuss your baby’s care. Families are invited into the NICU when it is their baby’s round to respect the privacy of other families.

We request that no more than two visitors be at your baby’s bedside in the NICU at a time. A parent must accompany visitors in the NICU, excluding grandparents. Visitors under 18 years old are not permitted in the NICU for the safety and health of the babies. Also, we ask that anyone experiencing symptoms of illness, like coughing or sniffling, does not visit the NICU.

The NICU remains a locked unit to protect your baby’s safety. Please use the telephone by the door to enter into the unit.

Advanced NICU equipment

We understand the equipment in the NICU may be new and different to you. We want you and your family to feel comfortable about your baby’s care, so please ask our nurses any questions you’d like. Below is a list of NICU equipment our nurses may use:

# Equipment  Features/Purpose  Advantages
1 Comprehensive ventilators Precision gas delivery system supplies accurate volumes. Precise flow metering. Active exhalation valve encourages ventilatory synchrony. Protects the premature infant’s fragile pulmonary system.
2 CPAP ventilator Ventilator provides nasal continuous positive airway pressure. Prevents reintubation.
3 Physiologic monitors Bedside monitors for heart, respiration, blood pressure and saturation levels. Portable, modular, adaptable at bedside.
4 OmniBeds For babies weighing less than 800 grams or critically ill full-term babies. Bed can be “closed” or can open to a radiant warmer when caregivers need full access to baby. Phototherapy lights, humidity control, procedure light, scale. Creates the most developmentally supportive micro-environment available. Eliminates stress of moving infants from bed to bed.
5 Incubators

Double-walled and capable of providing humidified environment for the stable and growing premature baby. Scale and phototherapy lights. Ideal healing environment for intensively ill infants.
6 NIRS (Near Infrared Spectroscopy) Measures continuous oxygen levels in the brain, kidneys, and intestines. Enables proactive treatment before problems arise.
7 Brain Cooling The cool cap device is used to cool the infant’s brain. Provides hypothermia and reduces potential brain damage to infants born with perinatal depression.
8 Syringe infusion pumps Micro-infusion of calculated drips and small-volume infusions. Precision and control.
9 Digital Echo Images of cardiac studies can be transmitted digitally for accurate and timely diagnosis of heart defects in newborns. Enables real-time cardiac consultations with pediatric cardiologists.
11 Oscillator ventilators For very premature and very ill full-term babies. Oscillator keeps lungs open with constant positive pressure and vibrates the air at a very high rate. Vibration helps gases to quickly diffuse in and out of baby’s airways without need for a “bellows” action that may damage delicate lung structures. Allows early, lung-protective intervention in treatment of respiratory failure.
11 Brain monitor Detects changes and abnormalities in the cerebral function of neonates at bedside. Provides real-time neurological information in NICU 24/7.
12 Transport incubator and ventilator Oscillator capability as well as nitric-oxide delivery system. Like a small, self-contained intensive-care unit on wheels.
13 Radiant warmers Open bed provides continuous heat to very unstable or extremely premature babies. Open warmer allows caregivers easy access to the baby from all sides.
14 Retinal imaging system Digital imaging and tracking system for staging and zoning of retinopathy of prematurity and other pediatric eye diseases. Mobile system, entire exam in just a few minutes (as few as 5 photos).
15 Hearing screeners Universal screening for hearing deficits. Screens both ears at same time.
16 Breast pumps Two-phase pumping system allows mothers to provide expressed breast milk (gold standard for feeding practice). Initial, rapid rhythm slows to deeper rhythm for efficient milk expression.