Neonatal ICU (NICU)

The T.J. and Debbie Day Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Caring for you and your newborn is a top priority. Saint Mary's stands ready to provide the best level of care you need. Should your baby require advanced medical attention, you can feel safe that Saint Mary's T.J. and Debbie Day Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is close at hand. Should your baby be born outside the Reno area, Saint Mary's provides Neonatal Transport services within the northern Nevada region.

Our Level III 29-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is recognized and accredited by the state of Nevada as one of the area's best in caring for urgent baby needs. We also have a perinatologist on staff that specializes in caring for mothers with pre-term labor. The unit provides care to prematurely born infants who often weigh less than two pounds and also to full term babies facing critical conditions, such as those who are fighting infection or needing surgery.

Saint Mary's has kept pace with recent advancements in neonatal technology and care. Our technology includes Ohmeda Giraffe combination radiant warmer/incubators that are automatically temperature controlled for any sized infant, ventilators that can deliver hundreds of breaths per minute to protect delicate lungs, inhaled nitric oxide to reverse critical lung disease, and Cool Cap that can provide hypothermic cooling to those infants who qualify. Our unit is known for very low infection rates for both central lines and ventilators. Currently we have not had an infection in over a decade due to the dedication, hard work and conscientiousness of our entire team.

The unit features sufficient space for parents to spend time at the bedside with family centered care, caring for both the baby and their family. Parents are encouraged to come in and participate in the care of their baby which can include taking the temperature, feedings, bathing, and providing Kangaroo Care (Skin-to-skin). Parents may bring in visitors but are limited to only two people at the bedside, one of which will be the parent. Sibling visitation is allowed during non-flu season to those who are four years and older. Siblings must have current vaccinations.

Our unit has over 150 years of combined NICU experience. Many of our nurses have been at Saint Mary’s for over 10 years. Some of our services include lactation, dietary, Speech therapy, OT/PT, interpreter via specialized phone service, and social services. Free classes are offered on infant CPR, developmental care, and Kangaroo Care. Some classes are available on line to view at your convenience. Education is always ongoing. Books are provided to read about understanding the NICU. Parents are encouraged to download a free app called Peekaboo ICU Preemie Baby- very educational on premature infants.

New Mothers Support Group | Every Thursday at 10:00am and 2nd & 4th Thursday at 6:00pm. Please call (775) 770-3429 for more information.

Neonatal Transport Unit

The Neonatal Transport Services at Saint Mary’s offers swift intervention for newborns in need of special critical care services that only a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can provide. When newborns are critically ill they can be safely transported by an ambulance or fixed wing airplane in a specialized transport unit that provides an intensive care environment. The transport team is staffed with Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurse, and Respiratory Therapists. They go through extensive training and certification to specialize in the stabilization and safe transportation of premature and critically ill newborns

We are the only team in northern Nevada that has the capability to:

• Deliver high frequency ventilation in additional to conventional ventilation
• Deliver nitric oxide during transportation

Contact Us: (775) 770-3061

Saint Mary's Donor Milk Program

Babies who are in the TJ and Debbie Day NICU at Saint Mary's receive specialized care. In order to keep those babies growing and thriving, we provide a donor milk program for those who may not be able to receive milk from their mother. Your contribution can help.

What is the Donor Milk Program?

If you are a nursing mother that has a milk supply in excess of what your baby needs, you can help other babies and mothers who need it. Mothers of premature babies often can't produce the amount of milk needed. By donating your breast milk, you can provide potentially life-sustaining benefits to the babies fighting for their lives.

Our Donor Milk Program is operated by Prolacta Bioscience. Prolacta tests and processes all donated milk in order to supply premature babies with an exclusive 100% human milk diet. Donating milk is done in the privacy of your home. Once you are qualified as a donor, Prolacta provides breast milk storage bags as well as shipping coolers with pre-paid shipping labels. Every shipment they receive is cross-matched with that donor's DNA profile, screened for bacteria, and tested for drugs of abuse and other substances. It is then pasteurized, labeled with nutritional value and sold to our NICUs around the country.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the use of human milk for all preterm infants.

How Does the Donor Milk Program Help NICU Babies?

Breast milk helps all babies to grow healthy and strong.

  • It protects against allergies, sickness, and obesity
  • It protects against diseases, like diabetes and cancer
  • It protects against infections, including ear infections
  • Is easily digested

How Do I Become a Donor?

Click here to learn more about our Donor Milk Program.