Driscoll Children’s Hospital Retains Level IV NICU
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi was recently redesignated as a Level IV trauma care unit — the highest level of care available. The redesignation by the Texas Department of State Health Services renews the NICU Level IV status originally granted in 2017. It remains the only Level IV trauma unit for premature and critically ill newborns in South Texas and is one of only 21 of the 232 Designated Neonatal Facilities in Texas with a Level IV designation.
Level IV trauma unit designations are reviewed every three years during a rigorous process conducted by the Texas EMS Trauma and Acute Care Foundation. The process for Driscoll began in November 2019 and was granted in early May of this year.
“It’s a long process with much give and take as the site conductors and hospital staff work together to ensure the highest standards are maintained,” said Chris Joyal, BSN, RN, CPN, director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “It takes a village to coordinate the care of our tiniest patients, and it reflects every day as we watch them heal, grow, and go home with their families. The patience, compassion, and caring touch each NICU staff member brings to the table is what makes our program such a success.”
The unit is licensed for 61 beds and staffs the only neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners in Corpus Christi. They are on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week. All staff in the unit are trained to work with the tiniest of babies.
“The NICU Levels of Care designation is important for Corpus Christi and South Texas families because it provides the assurance that comprehensive medical care is available for their premature or sick babies, right in their backyard,” said Trish Carr, Ph.D., RNC-NIC, NEA-BC, associate chief nursing officer, Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “Staying near home and family is a crucial part of the healing process.”
Driscoll Children’s Hospital serves an area of South Texas that covers 31 counties and 33,000 square miles, more than any Level IV NICU in Texas. It is located at 3533 S. Alameda St. in Corpus Christi.
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