Advanced neonatal intensive care in San Antonio, Texas

Methodist Healthcare is proud to offer the largest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in San Antonio. Our in-house, board-certified neonatologists and advanced nurse practitioners provide care 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the special healthcare needs of our hospital’s tiniest patients.

To learn more about the NICU services we provide, contact our Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355.

A newborn may enter the NICU when he or she is born prematurely, needs surgical intervention, experienced difficulties during delivery or shows signs of distress during the first few days of life. We encourage parents to be active participants in the care of their infants before labor and delivery with a prenatal visit to our unit.

Features of our NICU

At Methodist Children's Hospital, our Level IV NICU and specialists in pediatric care have the tools and expertise to treat children who have the most complex medical conditions, including:

  • Bedside surgical procedures
  • Technologically advanced radiology
  • Conventional and non-conventional mechanical ventilator, including high-frequency oscillatory ventilation and an inhaled nitric oxide program
  • Respiratory therapy and nutritional management
  • Specialized nursing team for cardiac patients, total body cooling patients and patients with a central line
  • Life support
  • A full complement of sub-specialty physician services for infants with rare congenital conditions

Neonatal and pediatric transport

Our neonatal and pediatric transport team provides state-of-the-art critical care transport services under the direct supervision of the pediatric intensivists and neonatologists at Methodist Children's Hospital. All of our transport team members are experienced critical care providers, trained in flight physiology and advanced pediatric life support skills.

Neonatal back transport service

Once an infant has graduated and no longer needs the level of care provided by the Methodist Children Hospital NICU, we offer a transfer service back to the intermediate care of the originating hospital until his or her discharge home.

The purpose of this service is to provide a safe transfer to a specialized nursery that can meet the infant’s needs closer to the family’s home. When the infant is ready, our neonatologist will collaborate with the patient’s pediatrician to ensure a safe transfer back to the originating hospital.

Maternal transport at Methodist Children’s Hospital

Our maternal transport team consists of two highly skilled and obstetrics-trained registered nurses and a paramedic. Our flight crew and ground paramedics are also qualified to provide medical consultation and oversee the care of the patient by phone and/or radio from the time the patient leaves the referring facility until the time the patient arrives at Methodist Children's Hospital.

In addition, a team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists are available for:

  • Maternal-fetal medicine consultation
  • High-resolution ultrasound
  • Amniocentesis
  • Fetal therapeutics, including percutaneous umbilical blood sampling
  • Intrauterine transfusions
  • Coordination of maternal-fetal care for congenital anomalies
  • Caring for perinatal problems with the team of neonatologists and pediatric surgeons at Methodist Children’s Hospital

Reasons for maternal-fetal transport

Though each patient needs to be evaluated on an individual basis, general guidelines can be given to patients who are likely to require maternal-fetal or neonatal intensive care. If this level of care is anticipated, referral to a regional center may be desirable for several reasons:

  • High-risk pregnancies with certain conditions may require intensive care with highly specialized monitoring and evaluation capability for extended periods
  • Intrauterine transport is less stressful for a baby than neonatal transport.
  • Maternal-fetal transport allows mother and baby to be close to each other soon after delivery.
  • A regional center provides highly sophisticated medical equipment and resources for patients who require a higher level of care.

Maternal-fetal transport should be decided jointly by the patients’ referring physician and the receiving regional center specialist.