NICU - Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)  is a 10-bed unit that provides service to newborns as early as 30 weeks gestation.  We also provide intensive nursing care for critically ill infants and support to their families.  It can seem like a frightening place, but it is a highly monitored unit with specialized equipment and staff trained to look after infants to make sure your baby is getting the best care possible.

Our team consists of pediatricians, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, registered dietitians and pharmacists.  We have close contact with London Health Sciences if your infant needs more specialized care than we can provide.

As a parent in the NICU, you are the most important person for your baby.

  • You are your baby’s voice, your baby’s source of comfort, warmth and affection, your baby’s advocate, and the most vital member of your baby’s care team
  • We want you to be with your baby as much as possible, and we are here to help you in any way that we can
  • We want you to take part in your baby’s care, and we will give you the needed information, teaching and support

We have 3 family care rooms provided free of charge for either parent to stay in while your infant is admitted to NICU.  These rooms have a single bed, and there is a small kitchenette and washroom available for use.  Linens will be provided.  Parents are required to provide their own food.   The family care rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Parents are welcome at all times to the NICU.  Shift change occurs at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Staff at this time will be handing over care to the next staff member. 

Who Can Visit My Baby?

For safety, we ask that only 2 people visit the baby’s bedside at one time, not including a parent. The only children that can visit are siblings of the infant.

Before you allow a child to visit, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date. We need to know whether they have had chickenpox or have been vaccinated against chickenpox.
  • If a child has recently been vaccinated, they will need to wait 21 days after the vaccination before visiting.
  • If a child has been exposed to chickenpox, please let us know.
  • Please do not let a child visit if there is any chance they could spread an infection to others. 

What Can I Bring In For My Baby?

You are welcome to bring things from home for your baby. These things make your baby ‘feel at home’ and part of your family. 

Clothes & Blankets

  • Babies do not need clothes if they are placed in an isolette. It is not until your baby is in a cot that they will need to wear anything.
  •  If you like, you can also bring in blankets for your baby’s bed.
  • You are responsible for taking these items home to clean. Ask your nurse for a bag to store dirty items before taking them home.
  • Write your baby’s last name on any items you bring to the nursery so that there is less chance that they will get lost.

As recommended by the Canadian Institute of Child Health, Health Canada and the World Health Organization, breastfeeding is supported at Sault Area Hospital. Education and support are provided to all parents for their baby’s feeding method of choice. 

NICU Discharge Survey

All families who have had an infant admitted to the NICU will be offered a discharge survey before their infant is discharged.  The survey is done online.  We will provide an iPad for you to complete the survey, or you will be given the link to complete the survey at home if you so choose.  Your feedback is important to us, and we encourage you to give us your feedback on how we can improve our services.