Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Providing the highest level of care for the state’s smallest critically ill babies
At Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, we have the region's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), providing the highest level of care for the state’s smallest critically ill babies and those with special needs. In addition, we are the designated Regional Perinatal Center in our 16-county region.
Each year, approximately 800 critically ill and premature babies are cared for at our NICU by a team of highly skilled physicians and staff. Doctors and caregivers from all over the region send their pre-term or sick patients to our maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialists and neonatologists. We are home to the area's only certified maternal-fetal specialist and prenatal genetic counseling for high-risk pregnancies. An MFM, neonatologist and pediatric surgeon are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- State-of-the-art equipment and specially trained staff to handle the most critically ill babies.
- Caring teams led by a neonatologist, a pediatrician who has completed advanced training in caring for sick or premature infants who require complex medical attention.
- Lactation consultants to assist moms in their desire to provide breastmilk for their preterm or critically ill baby.
- A parent educator who assists families with preparing to bring their little one home. We offer infant CPR, safe sleep classes and more.
- A support group for parents of NICU babies to help them through this difficult time.
- Around-the-clock transport services and consultation for other hospitals within our region.
- A Neonatal ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) Center. Our ECMO Center is one of only two in the state and provides complex surgery, neonatal brain cooling therapy for HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy), high frequency ventilation and nitric oxide therapy.
- Delivery and rooming options for natural childbirth, as well as those with some assistance from anesthesia.
- Breastfeeding assistance by board-certified lactation consultants for new moms choosing to breastfeed.
- Birthplace Education classes to help prepare you for your new arrival.
- Palmetto Health Richland is the only Baby-Friendly designated hospital in the Midlands area.
Kangaroo Care is skin-to-skin contact, with your baby placed right against your chest. Clinical research suggests that recovery time is shortened with Kangaroo Care and babies are able to leave the hospital sooner. When the medical team tells you that it is safe to do so, you may choose to use Kangaroo Care as part of your bonding process.
Donor milk program
Partnering with Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina, we serve as a depot site to provide nourishing human breast milk products to ill, premature babies. Eligible mothers within the community can donate their excess breast milk.
Tours are available
We are pleased to offer tours of the NICU so you can see for yourself the important work that happens here. To request a tour or get more information, please contact Anna Saunders, Director of Development, at (803) 434-2830 or Anna.Saunders@PalmettoHealth.org.
Learn more about some of the families who have spent time in the NICU at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.
Donate to the NICU At Children’s Hospital
We are grateful to the Will Rogers Institute and Variety, the Children’s Charity of the U. S., for a grant in 2015 to fund a transport incubator for Palmetto Health Richland. The transport incubator serves as a portable intensive care unit for premature or ill babies like Maggie Tesch, who needed to be moved in-house from the Operating Room upstairs to the NICU. The transport incubator has a built-in ventilator and resuscitation capabilities.
Thank you to the Will Rogers Institute and Variety for helping our tiniest patients thrive!
See Maggie's story