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Neonatology & NICU

Aster Medcity, cochin today proudly presents the quaternary care  Neonatal Intensive Care unit ( NICU) with 13 beds including high intensive care beds requiring complex medical and surgical intervention for neonates till 4 weeks of age. Highly trained neonatal intensive care physicians, nursing skilled personals and other supporting doctors from allied neonatal specialties partake in the care for critical newborns and their families. We also believe that parents do play a vital role even during intensive care  neonatal care.

Neonatology department today has a neonatal retrieval and transport services team transferring critically ill infants in and across the state. The neonatology intensive care at Aster aims to deliver highest quality of care with research programs, quality improvement initiatives, lactation counselling, antenatal classes and family education sessions. This ensures that every NICU graduates achieves their full potential. Pediatric DNB training program associated with Aster pediatrics department ensures constant innovating and research and teaching programs continually.

Approximately 1400 infants are admitted in neonatal intensive care unit every year and serves as a referral centre from other neonatal intensive care units across the state. 

Aster Neonatology is one among the first units in Kerala to offer Total body cooling (TBC) to prevent secondary brain damage in neonates with risk of hypoxic insult. This minimizes brain damage in infants born with loss of oxygen at birth. These interventions along with early stimulation and developmental supportive care for high risk infants has benefitted neonates to achieve their growth potential both in growth and development parameters.

Aster NICU is also privileged to offer Inhaled nitric oxide therapy along with ECMO therapy which are the major interventions in the treatment of complicated pulmonary hypertension which is one of the most challenging diagnosis to treat in neonatal infants.

High risk infants especially extreme premature infants as low as 23 weeks gestation has a fair survival rate and comparable to national standards. We believe that a combination of proper antenatal counselling, perinatal and neonatal intensive care along with early stimulation for high risk infants has evenly contributed to the better survival rate in these infants. 

High risk procedure done in neonatal intensive care are focused mostly on critically ill neonates especially preterm infants , these include PICC line insertion , laser therapy for retinopathy of prematurity ,cardiac interventions like PDA ligation performed in the unit etc.

Aster Medcity thrive by their unique caring mission with a global vision to serve the world with accessible and affordable healthcare to all. It’s excellence in knowledge, leadership and skillset and collaborating with families of neonates. In Aster NICU, we aim not only to improve survival rate but also to avoid long term morbidities as well. With this we have achieved global world standards in treatment protocols for NICU. We continually monitor and improve the care provided to our little ones. Our NICU high risk graduates are followed up in high risk follow up clinics supported by Department of Development Pediatrics. Today we are proud to announce that the morbidity and long tern sequelae of our NICU graduates are at par with global standards.

Neonatology department at Aster is supported with all neonatology affiliated sub-specialties providing highest level of services and family centered care.

Some of the supportive subspecialties affiliated with neonatology are:

Pediatric cardiology, Pediatric cardiac surgery, Pediatric endocrinology, Pediatric neurology, Pediatric neurosurgery, Developmental pediatrics, Pediatric Immunology ,Pediatric geneticist, Pediatric surgery, Pediatric urology, Pediatric nephrology, Pediatric gastroenterology, Fetal medicine for antenatal diagnosis and management.

Advanced Technology & Facilities

Well equipped with the latest medical equipment, modern technology & infrastructure, Aster Hospital is one of the best hospitals in India.

Cardiac ductal ligation in NICU

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart defect that’s present at birth. When the condition is present, a vein that normally closes at birth (the ductus arteriosus) stays open. The result is that oxygen-rich blood that should be circulating into the body instead goes back to the lungs. Cardiac ductal ligation is a procedure to repair this problem.

High frequency neonatal ventilation and conventional mode

High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) is a lung-protective strategy that can be utilized in the full spectrum of patient populations ranging from neonatal to adults with acute lung injury.

Special comprehensive warmers with resuscitation facility

Incubators and radiant warmers are used to maintain the body temperature of newborn infants. This is best done so that the energy expended for metabolic heat production is minimized.

LED phototherapy, Double volume exchange transfusion

These lights emit light at wavelengths that are most effectively absorbed by bilirubin and can be customized by using varying proportions of blue, blue-green and green lights. Whereas double volume exchange transfusion is replacing the baby's total blood volume twice, leaving the intravascular amount the same.

Partial exchange transfusion

A partial exchange transfusion is a procedure performed to correct polycythaemia or severe anaemia without hypovolaemia. This can be performed using either the one catheter or two catheter push pull technique.

CPAP/ High flow ventilation

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a means of providing respiratory support to neonates with either upper airway obstruction or respiratory failure. Respiratory failure constitutes either failure of ventilation or failure of lung function. 

Peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis is frequently required in NICU, and it is a fundamental, rational, safe and effective renal replacement therapy method in infants with Acute kidney injury and metabolic disorders.

Bedside echo, cranial USG & x-ray

Bedside echocardiography is often performed on our neonatal unit usually to diagnose or exclude a structural heart defect, but also to evaluate pulmonary haemodynamics and cardiac function. Cranial ultrasonography (cUS) is an excellent tool to detect the most frequently occurring brain abnormalities in preterm and full-term neonates, to study the evolution of lesions, and to follow brain maturation. X-ray examinations of the lungs is an important element in the evaluation of the neonates and their respiratory function. It is often necessary to perform a large number of X-ray examinations depending upon the infant's birthweight, gestational age and respiratory problems.

USG guided central venous & arterial access

A central venous line is most often put in when a baby cannot get a percutaneous inserted central catheter (PICC) or midline central catheter (MCC). A central venous line can be used to give nutrients or medicines to a baby. It is only put in when babies need IV nutrients or medicines for a long time. Whereas peripheral arterial access readily allows sampling of arterial blood for arterial blood gas analysis, haematology and biochemistry and can also be used for removal of blood during exchange transfusion.


Want to find out more about the treatment? The answer to your questions can be found below.

What is a neonatal ventilator?

Neonatal ventilators can be classified as either devices that deliver tidal ventilation, usually referred to as conventional mechanical ventilators, or devices that deliver smaller gas volumes at rapid rates, referred to as high-frequency ventilators

What are the three levels of neonatal care?

Levels of Neonatal Care

  • Level I: Well newborn nursery.
  • Level II: Special care nursery.
  • Level III: Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Level IV: Regional neonatal intensive-care unit (regional NICU)

What is NICU in a baby?

When babies are born early, have health problems, or a difficult birth they go to the hospital's NICU. NICU stands for "neonatal intensive care unit".

What is CPAP in NICU?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a means of providing respiratory support to neonates with either upper airway obstruction or respiratory failure. Respiratory failure constitutes either failure of ventilation or failure of lung function.

Is NICU the same as ICU?

A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), also known as an intensive care nursery (ICN), is an intensive care unit (ICU) specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants.