The Cardiac NICU is a special unit of the neonatal intensive care unit
at CHOC that provides comprehensive care for babies with congenital heart defects, including those complicated by prematurity, low birth weight or multi-organ disease. CHOC is the only hospital in Orange County that performs open heart surgery on newborns. Led by physicians who are dual-trained in both neonatal intensive care and cardiac intensive care, the eight-bed Cardiac NICU features the latest technology, including full ECMO support and the capability to perform emergency bedside surgery if needed. The Cardiac NICU promotes multidisciplinary collaboration with daily rounds between cardiac-neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and neonatal-cardiac nurses, and the unit is actively researching techniques to maximize neuro-developmental outcomes and minimize long-term complications.