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Neonatal Pulmonary Intensive Care Unit

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals are leading providers of neonatal pulmonary care and treatment. When a child is born with a congenital lung disorder or has severe respiratory problems, it’s vital to get the right care to them very quickly. That's why we have staff members and pediatric pulmonary specialists on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week in our Neonatal Pulmonary Intensive Care Unit in Oakland. In San Francisco, babies with pulmonary problems get round-the-clock care in our Intensive Care Nursery.

We're one of only four hospitals in California offering extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a treatment that uses a heart-lung bypass system to take over the job of circulating the blood and breathing, giving a baby's heart and lungs a chance to rest and get stronger. We use ECMO to reduce the risk of complications in babies born prematurely (before week 34) and for babies suffering a variety of serious respiratory conditions. Although ECMO is considered a treatment to be undertaken only when absolutely necessary, it can improve an infant's chances of survival by up to 80 percent.

Along with our emphasis on the most advanced neonatal medical care, we also recognize the importance of meeting the emotional and psychological needs of infants and their families. We encourage parents to spend as much time with their baby as possible, and we welcome visits from siblings after they have been screened by our unit services coordinator.

With our neonatal specialists and our nationally recognized ECMO program, we offer our patients a great chance at a healthier future.

Our locations (2)

    Awards & recognition

    • Top 10 in the nation for neonatology

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    Recommended reading


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    Intensive Care Nursery Glossary

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    Intensive Care Nursery Parents' Guide

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    Intensive Care Nursery Team

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    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.


    Gentle Hands Program

    We help parents of medically fragile infants bond with their babies via special techniques for soothing, holding and bathing their child. Learn more.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.


    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.


    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.


    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.


    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Our research initiatives

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      UCSF Division of Neonatology Research

    Learning never stops

    Our classroom and bedside classes help kids get credit and keep learning during treatment.

    See our school program