Levels of hospital care
Have you ever wondered what a Level I, II, or III hospital is? How will you know which is right for you when the time comes to deliver? Dr. Siobhan Dolan explains how hospital nurseries are classified in the new March of Dimes book Healthy Mom Healthy Baby.
“Every hospital with a maternity department must have a nursery, a unit devoted to newborn care. Some provide more extensive care than others. Hospital nurseries are classified by the kind of care they offer:
Level I – Well-newborn nurseries that provide a basic level of medical care to low-risk and healthy newborns.
Level II – Special-care nurseries that can care for infants who are moderately ill or born a few weeks early with health problems that are expected to improve rapidly.
Level III – Neonatal Intensive care units (NICUs) with highly trained providers and advanced equipment to provide complex care, surgery, and life support for infants who are critically ill, very small, or very premature.
“If you are having a healthy low-risk pregnancy, it is not necessary to make special arrangements to give birth in a hospital with a level II or III nursery. However, if you are having pregnancy complications, or your baby has a known or suspected health problem, talk with your provider about whether choosing a hospital with a higher level of newborn care is a good idea.”
You can read more about Dr. Dolan’s book, and even order a copy, at this link.