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Neonatology NICU Follow-Up Services

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Neonatology NICU Follow-Up Services

NICU Follow-Up Services

Children’s Mercy will continue to partner with you in your child’s care as she grows. We have several follow-up clinics and services designed specifically for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) graduates and other young children with special health care needs.

All of these clinics are multidisciplinary. That means that all different kinds of health care providers, like doctors, nurses and social workers, are working together as a team to help your child. We also coordinate with any subspecialists your child might need, such as cardiologists, pulmonologists, neurologists, developmental pediatricians, nutritionists and speech, occupational and physical therapists.

Special Care Clinic

We recognize that many of our NICU graduates have special health care needs related to growth and development. The Special Care Clinic provides follow-up services for your child after he’s home from the NICU.

Our team includes pediatricians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and dietitians. We’ll also work closely with other pediatric subspecialists to coordinate your child’s care. You can reach a doctor by phone 24 hours a day for questions or problems.

Many of the babies we see require specialized medical equipment, which we’ll help you learn to use. Together with your primary care provider, we’ll coordinate care until your child reaches two or three years old. Then, in most cases, we’ll help you transition his care to your primary care provider.

Infant Tracheostomy Care

The Infant Tracheostomy and Home Ventilator Program helps babies who need prolonged ventilator assistance to live at home while still receiving the respiratory support they need.

Children’s Mercy has one of the largest home ventilator programs in the country. Our team includes neonatologists, an otolaryngologist, registered nurse coordinators, social workers, and dietitians. Often, the neonatologist who cares for your baby in the hospital will oversee her ongoing care at home. We also coordinate with your child’s specialists on her comprehensive care plan.

The program is designed for babies who need ongoing respiratory support but are otherwise ready to be discharged from intensive care. We will provide you with extensive training and practice sessions with the equipment. A doctor is available by phone 24 hours a day for questions and support.

NEON Clinic

The NEON Infant Care Clinic (Neonatal Evaluation and Outcomes Network) provides care for babies who need complex medical and neurodevelopmental treatment. If your child is a NICU graduate who required ECMO, therapeutic cooling, or had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia or other complex medical problem, we’ll see you in this clinic periodically until he is about two years old.

The experienced team in the NEON Clinic is comprised of a neonatologist, nutritionist, social worker and neonatal nurse practitioner. We help coordinate all aspects of your baby's care, including developmental, hearing and speech, and other services as needed.

Developmental Follow Up

Developmental testing at your child’s 2-year appointment helps your care team check on milestones and connect you with resources and support when you need it.

We use the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, a series of developmental play tasks that assess your child’s developmental progress. The tasks typically take about an hour, though most kids find the play-based tasks lots of fun. After the testing, we’ll let you know how your child is doing and whether any additional assessments might be helpful. 

Children with more complex developmental problems may be referred to the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Sciences or to their local school districts for additional assessment or early intervention services.

Neonatal Feeding Clinic

The Feeding Clinic at Children's Mercy cares for infants and young children who have problems that impact their desire or ability to eat.

Our team includes a pediatrician, occupational therapist, dietitian, and psychologist who focus on improving children's feeding skills. We will evaluate your child and work closely with your primary care physician, subspecialists, and home therapists to develop a home program to improve feeding skills. You can always reach the team by phone or email in between visits with questions or concerns.

Your child’s growth and health is our primary goal. Once we’re seeing good growth patterns, we’ll begin to work on safe, developmentally appropriate feeding. Our staff is experienced at treating complex feeding problems as well as tube feeding and tube weaning. We can also work on improving social eating and drinking skills.

Our patients are frequently NICU graduates or have similar medically and developmentally complex conditions. As children approach 5 or 6 years old, they will be transitioned to another program for ongoing treatment and support.

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