NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)



The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Driscoll Children's Hospital has a team of dedicated, caring and compassionate medical professionals who nurture each baby and provide the best treatment options, information and support for the families. We are able to provide the medical and surgical care and attention for your premature baby and sick infants.

Our NICU is designated Level 4 from the Texas Department of State Health Services--the highest level of care for premature and critically ill babies. It was the first NICU in South Texas to earn this designation in 2017 and we have worked hard to maintain this highest level of designation.

Our Level 4 NICU cares for a variety of premature and sick newborns and infants:

  • Prematurity (carried less than 37 weeks)
  • Respiratory distress
  • Infections
  • Birth defects
  • And a multitude of other illnesses

We are blessed to have a large team with experience and expertise, along with the latest technology to help all our babies. Most of our referral area hospitals transfer their infants to Driscoll Children’s Hospital NICU for the highest level of specialized care available. Studies have shown that babies treated in a hospital with higher level NICU have better outcomes because they will have the support of a diverse medical team and support staff.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Driscoll Children’s Hospital is licensed for 67 beds and is staffed by on-site neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are also supported by a diverse team of pediatric subspecialist that your baby may need and they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as well. Additionally, we have a support staff of nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, chaplains, social workers and more. All members of the team are specially trained to care for the tiniest and sickest of babies. Our team is also active in education, quality improvement initiatives, developmental care and research.

Family Centered Care
Families are integral in the healing and recovery process of their baby, and that is why the NICU does not have visiting hours as families are not visitors. Our unit is open to families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we encourage families to spend as much time as possible with their babies. We try to ease families’ anxiety during this very stressful time and work around their home and work schedule. Our team helps to coach the family and encourages them to participate in the hands-on care of their baby.

As their baby starts recovering and healing and is a step closer to being home with their family, we understand that this is another moment of stress for the family. The joy of bringing their baby home finally is mixed with the fear for the care of their complex baby. We support our families with an extensive step-by-step discharge planning phase with the aid of our neonatal nurses as well as our discharge coordinator, social worker and case management. We offer rooming-in facility to our family prior to discharge especially for our families going home with medical equipment.

Consultation with Physicians and Staff
Families are an important part of our medical team and are encouraged to ask questions and to give feedback on their baby’s progress. We serve a wide area in South Texas and a lot of our families may not have the opportunity to be with their baby as often as they would like. AngelEye remote web-cameras allow parents to view their baby from their electronic device. We are also able to facilitate remote meetings between families and their doctors and medical staff.

Visit all your child's specialists in one trip to Driscoll Children's Hospital.

For your convenience, please ask any of our specialty clinics to coordinate all of your child's appointments in one day.

You can contact us at (361) 694-5000 or call your specialty clinic directly for further assistance.