WVU Hospitals receives CON approval to move to Level IV NICU status

Posted on 6/8/2021

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Hospitals is the first hospital in West Virginia to receive Certificate of Need (CON) approval to move the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at WVU Medicine Children’s from Level III status to Level IV status. The designation will take effect later this summer.

“This designation confirms the fact that WVU Medicine Children’s is one of the premier centers of care for medically vulnerable infants,” said Amy L. Bush, BSN, MBA, RN, CNOR, chief operating officer for WVU Medicine Children’s. “This recognition is important because it means families of critically ill babies don’t have to travel far from home to get the best care available. The NICU’s doctors and nurses provide exceptional care to some of the sickest babies in the state and region.”

According to the “Guidelines for Perinatal Care” published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, NICUs are ranked at levels I through IV, with IV the highest.

A Level I NICU, also known as a good newborn nursery) can provide a basic level of care for healthy, low-risk newborns. A Level II NICU is a specialty-level facility that can provide care for stable or moderately ill newborns born after 32 weeks of gestation or weighing more than 1,500 grams at birth with problems that are expected to resolve quickly and that are not treated. expect them to disappear. urgent services at a subspecialty level.

Infants born less than 32 weeks gestational, who weigh less than 1,500 grams at birth, or have medical or surgical conditions, regardless of gestational age, should receive care in a Level III NICU, which requires pediatric medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical specialists needed. , neonatologists, neonatal nurses and respiratory therapists on staff and must be able to provide neonates with continuous assisted ventilation, perform on-site surgeries, and have advanced imaging capabilities.

In addition to the Level I through III requirements, a Level IV NICU must also be in a facility capable of performing surgical repair of complex congenital or acquired conditions; maintain a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical subspecialists and pediatric anesthesiologists on site; facilitate transportation; and extracurricular education.

“Preterm infants and those who are critically ill require highly specialized resources and 24/7 multidisciplinary care to have the most optimal outcome,” said Autumn Kiefer, MD, chief of neonatology at WVU Medicine Children’s. “At WVU Medicine Children’s, we know it’s critical to get the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This designation helps ensure that newborns are treated at the appropriate level of the NICU and therefore receive quality care.”

The West Virginia Health Care Authority approved the Certificate of Need in April.

For more information about WVU Medicine Children’s, visit Childrens.WVUMedicine.org.

For media inquiries: Angela Jones-Knopf, Corporate Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, 304-285-7259

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