Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
14:16 PM

Lehigh Valley Health Network Neonatal ICU Achieves Highest Level Classification

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest was reclassified recently as a level IV unit, according to standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

“Our NICU is the only unit in the Lehigh Valley that meets the standards for the most advanced NICUs set by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Fetus and Newborn,” says J. Nathan Hagstrom, MD, chair of pediatrics at Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital.

AAP level IV classification reflects a facility’s ability to provide immediate, on-site pediatric surgery, pediatric anesthesia and pediatric medical specialists for complex and congenital conditions, in addition to the services of a level III unit.

“We care for the tiniest and most fragile infants, as well as provide surgical repair of complex congenital or acquired conditions,” Hagstrom says. “Our experienced pediatric surgeons, pediatric surgical subspecialists, and pediatric medical specialists are available to our patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our babies and their families do not need to travel out of the area to get the care that they need; they can stay right here at home. No other hospital or health network in the region provides care this advanced or qualifies for level IV status.”

Established in 2000, the NICU at LVH—Cedar Crest has grown from 18 beds to 40 beds and treats 650 premature or critically ill newborns each year. The unit had been classified as level III by providing specialty care for large volumes of infants born at less than 32 weeks gestation, or with complex medical or surgical needs.

The network also operates a level II NICU at LVH—Muhlenberg and a level III NICU at LVH—Pocono. Both units have urgent access to the medical and surgical subspecialists, as well as the neonatologists at LVH—Cedar Crest via the neonatal transport team.

About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; 26 health centers caring for communities in seven counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices and 18 ExpressCARE locations throughout the region including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE at the Health Center at Palmer Township; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, orthopedics, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute and the Lehigh Valley Institute for Special Surgery give clinicians of the highest caliber the necessary infrastructure, programs and partnerships to help community members stay healthy and provide the most advanced treatment when needed. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a formal member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, a transformative initiative to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with cancer in community health care settings, including access to key MSK clinical trials. Robotic surgery is offered in ten specialties across the health network with more than 10,000 procedures performed since 2007. Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital and Level 4 NICU in the region, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest has been recognized among the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report for for five consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are national Magnet hospitals for excellence in nursing. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook and Twitter.