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Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery

The Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery, or NICN, is a component of the UCSF William H. Tooley Intensive Care Nursery. The NICN provides specialized, high-level care for infants at risk for neurological injury. We treat babies with conditions such as stroke, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, seizures, intraventricular hemorrhage, arteriovenous malformations, genetic disorders, brain malformations, extreme prematurity and other related conditions.

Founded in 2008, the NICN was the first program of its kind in the country, and continues to remain the leader in "brain-focused" neonatal care. Currently, UCSF is one of just a handful of hospitals nationwide that provide the highest level of care to this vulnerable population. Many of our patients are transported to UCSF from other hospitals within California and from across the country.

The NICN team consists of world-renowned specialists — board certified neonatologists, neonatal neurologists, pediatric surgeons, neuroradiologists, specially trained NICN nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners trained in neonatal neurology and others — as well as many other care providers, such as respiratory care therapists, physical and occupational therapists, palliative care specialists, social workers and lactation consultants. The entire team works together to provide our patients with the best care modern medicine has to offer, around the clock.

  • Hear an interview with Dr. Sonia Bonifacio, a neonatologist, who discusses hypothermia treatment to prevent brain damage in newborns, and Kelsey Dimitropoulos, whose son Luke was born without a heartbeat but survived after undergoing treatment in the Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery.

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Our Services

UCSF NICN "brain-focused" care includes:

  • A fully integrated team of renowned specialists and highly trained staff, all dedicated to delivering optimal care and improving outcomes for newborns at risk of brain injury.
  • Advanced continuous monitoring of brain activity and function to guide diagnosis and treatment of neonatal seizures.
  • Advanced evaluation with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), using MRI-compatible incubators. Imaging tests pinpoint the location of brain injury and guide diagnosis and treatment.
  • Access to hypothermia treatment, which involves cooling a newborn's brain and body by a few degrees immediately after birth to treat hypoxic (lack of oxygen) brain injury. This treatment is now standard care for full-term infants with hypoxic brain injury. UCSF can provide hypothermia treatment to even the very sickest babies who require ECMO, a type of bypass used to support infants with respiratory failure.
  • Rapid diagnosis and expert management of vascular malformations, or AVMs.
  • Neurosurgical services and follow-up neurological care for babies born with spina bifida.
  • Long-term comprehensive follow-up of our patients to assess their neurological health, identify any needs for treatment and facilitate access to services.
  • The opportunity to enroll in cutting-edge research clinical trials designed to test new therapies for brain injury.

Research

In addition to providing the highest level of care, a large part of the NICN's mission is to continually improve upon that level of care — and thus the outcomes — for this population of patients. UCSF's Intensive Care Nursery is responsible for discovering many of the therapies and treatments now used as standard care for critically ill infants.

We have many ongoing research trials in our Neonatal Clinical Research Center. Should your family choose to participate, special research doctors and nurses in the NICN will coordinate your child's care within the study.

Family-Centered Care

Having a child in the NICN can be a highly stressful experience for families. The NICN staff wants you to feel as involved, informed and as comfortable as possible with your baby's care. We encourage parents to ask as many questions as they need.

In addition, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital offers a variety of services to help support your family during your baby's hospital stay, which are listed below under "Patient Services."

A handbook for parents, "Comforting Your Baby in Intensive Care," is available for free download in the iTunes store. The handbook teaches parents how pain works and how they can partner with their baby's care team to keep their baby comfortable during a stay in intensive care.

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Getting Here

Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery
505 Parnassus Ave., 15th floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-1565
Fax: (415) 353-1202

Parking

Parking at Parnassus

Public parking for an hourly fee at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital is available in the seven-level Millberry Union Garage at 500 Parnassus Ave. There are two garage entrances — one on the north side of Parnassus Avenue and another on Irving Street, just east of Third Avenue.

Another garage with an hourly fee, at 350 Parnassus Ave., is open Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Metered street parking is rarely available.

Patients being admitted to the hospital may be dropped off at the circular driveway leading to the main entrance at 505 Parnassus Ave. This area also may be used to pick up patients who are being discharged.

For more information about parking at Parnassus, call Campus Parking Services at 476-2566.

Valet Parking Service

Valet parking service is available at the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) at 400 Parnassus Ave. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The valet service is free but patients must pay regular parking fees. For more information about the valet service, call (415) 476-6200.

A UCSF "greeter" also is available at the ACC from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist patients find their way.

Public Transportation

Parnassus

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital is accessible via Muni streetcar line N-Judah*, which stops at Second Avenue and Irving Street, and the following Muni bus lines, which stop in front of the hospital:

  • 43-Masonic*
  • 6-Parnassus
  • For more information about Muni visit, www.sfmuni.com.

    * Wheelchair accessible bus routes

Related Information

Ways to Give

Condition Information

Clinic Team

A. James Barkovich
Sonia Bonifacio
Dr. Sonia Bonifacio,
neonatologist
Donna Ferriero
Dr. Donna Ferriero,
pediatric neurologist
Hannah Glass
Dr. Hannah Glass,
pediatric neurologist
Elizabeth Rogers
Dr. Elizabeth Rogers,
neonatologist
David Rowitch
Dr. David Rowitch,
neonatologist
Thomas Shimotake
Dr. Thomas Shimotake,
neonatologist
Yao Sun
Dr. Yao Sun,
neonatologist and perinatologist
Yvonne Wu
Dr. Yvonne Wu,
pediatric neurologist