Treatments and Services
Our services include unique therapies, some of which are offered nowhere else in the Northwest.
Complex Neonatal Surgery
Complex neonatal surgery is done to fix a birth defect in a newborn or infant. It includes repair of birth defects in the baby's:
- Abdominal wall (gastroschisis and omphalocele)
- Urinary system (bladder exstrophy and severe hydronephrosis)
- Rectum (imperforate anus and cloacal exstrophy)
- Spinal cord (spina bifida or meningomyelocele)
- Airway (choanal atresia and tracheo-esophageal atresia)
Often these surgeries require multiple teams of pediatric surgeons, including general surgery, urology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and otolaryngology.
Continuous Renal (Kidney) Replacement Therapy (CRRT) (Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis)
CRRT is a 24-hour nonstop temporary dialysis therapy used to support patients with kidney failure (renal failure). CRRT works like the kidneys, and allows us to gently filter your child's blood. This gives your child's kidneys a chance to rest and get better.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
ECMO is a method of providing life support using a heart-lung pump when a child's heart or lungs aren't functioning properly or need time to heal. With ECMO, oxygen-poor blood is drawn into a machine that removes excess carbon dioxide, adds oxygen and then returns the oxygen-rich blood to the baby's body. Children's is the only hospital in the four-state WAMI (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region that provides neonatal ECMO. While on ECMO, your baby will be sedated for comfort and closely monitored by a nurse and an ECMO specialist.
High-frequency ventilation is a form of more gentle mechanical ventilation (breathing assistance) that sends small, rapid puffs of air into your child's lungs. It is used instead of conventional ventilation, which sometimes needs high pressure and thus may damage fragile newborn lungs.
Hypothermia (Body Cooling)
After birth, some babies show signs that they have had severe lack of oxygen for a period of time (asphyxia). If the baby is cooled to 33.5° C (about 91° F) for 3 days (hypothermia), the amount of brain injury may be reduced. This body-cooling process is called therapeutic hypothermia.
Seattle Children's can continuously record brain wave activity before and during this new form of treatment. The brain monitor provides real-time information about the infant's brain function. It continuously measures the brain's electrical activity, and helps identify seizure activity. A baby must be at least 36 weeks' gestation (no more than 4 weeks early) to qualify for this treatment.
Inhaled Nitric Oxide Treatment (iNO)
Inhaled nitric oxide is used to treat respiratory failure and high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Nitric oxide is given directly through a breathing tube into the windpipe. This helps the blood vessels in the lung open (dilate) so they can carry oxygenated blood into the body.
Neonatal Transport Team
Our team provides the expert, specialized care needed to safely transport critically ill infants by ground. When an air transport is needed, our neonatologists will partner with Airlift Northwest. During transport to Children's, a NICU nurse and a respiratory therapist work together to closely monitor your baby and provide treatment along the way. This team is in frequent contact with a neonatologist throughout the transport process to ensure the highest-quality patient care. The service is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We use ambulances, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft that are fully equipped with neonatal- and pediatric-sized medical equipment.
Learn more about your baby’s trip to the NICU (video 5:10)
Babies born with or at risk for a neurological condition need specialized care from a team of experts to help protect and heal their brain. Seattle Children’s Neuro NICU provides this care for your baby, using advanced neurodiagnostic and neuroimaging technology and evidence-based treatments. We have the only neonatal neurocritical care program in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
With our Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment Program, care begins even before birth for pregnant women and their families when their developing baby has a known or suspected problem. We also make sure your child gets the follow-up care they need at either Seattle Children’s or the Infant Development Follow-Up Clinic at UW Medical Center.