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Comprehensive care for premature and high-risk infants

The birth of a healthy baby is exciting, but sometimes newborns may need extra special care. In those cases in which a newborn is premature or has medical problems, rest assured Desert Care Network’s knowledgeable specialists and advanced technologies are readily available to care for your baby.

With the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the Coachella Valley, Desert Regional Medical Center offers the highest level of infant care available in the valley. Our 30-bed unit is located in the Women and Infants Center, directly next door to our Labor & Delivery department. This allows for immediate specialized treatment when a newborn is in need.

A specialized team designed to care for special patients

Being a Level III NICU means we take care of newborns born before 32 weeks and weigh less than 1500 grams, newborns of any age and weight who are critically ill, and newborns who need special equipment and round-the-clock care to help them breathe and live.

Our NICU provides a full range of specialized health care including four neonatologists, six neonatal nurse practitioners, pediatricians from Loma Linda Health University, specialized nurses, and specialized equipment.

The NICU offers:

  • Mechanical ventilation for newborns who cannot breathe on their own
  • Tube feeding
  • Cardiopulmonary monitoring
  • Emergency transportation vehicles
  • A lactation specialist
  • 24-hour visitation
  • Follow-up development program for high-risk infants

To learn more about visitation and general safety during COVID, click here.

Donor Breast Milk for Babies in Need

As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, Desert Regional is committed to providing the best for all of our special babies. Breast milk is highly researched and provides optimal nutrition for newborns, especially those who are born premature or critically ill. While the benefits are numerous, sometimes the mother is not able to produce enough milk. In these cases, Desert Regional is proud to have pasteurized donor breast milk to ensure that all babies have access to proper nutrition. Offering donor breast milk since 2013, we support babies and families who need extra help.

For information on breastfeeding and post-birth support services, click here.

Special Deliveries: NICU Flight & Ambulance Transport Team

Desert Regional Medical Center offers specially-equipped ambulance and air-transport vehicles with a dedicated NICU Flight Transport Team. This team is onsite 24/7 and dedicated to transporting high-risk infants born at other facilities to Desert Regional. Partnering with Mercy Air, our team is able transport babies via helicopter from all over the region in as little as 30 minutes.

Additionally, with Mission Ambulance we have our own infant-specialized ambulance that is readily available to transport newborns by ground.

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