The NICU team
“Working in critical care means you get to look at the whole patient in a multi-system way, not just one part of the body, and see your work through.
“We have such a high standard of nurses here and the one-to-one care they can provide neonates makes a real difference.”
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at GOSH, also known as Dolphin Ward, looks after babies and infants that need intensive support. Neonatal means any baby under 28 days old; the team on the NICU looks after very ill and/or premature babies. Dolphin Ward has up to 10 cots for babies with a variety of conditions that require intensive care support.
This summer, the NICU team expanded to include five new members; there is now a consultant neonatologist always available to provide specialised neonatal medical support.
At GOSH, we’re always looking to improve the quality of our care and to better understand the unique challenges of caring for neonatal patients. Growing the team has come in response to changes in training and following the new ground-breaking antenatal surgery (surgery in the womb) taking place in collaboration with University College London Hospital (UCLH) and UCL. This has seen surgery on two babies in the womb with spina bifida which were the first surgeries of their kind in the UK.
Meet the team
The new NICU team is made up of consultants of different ages, nationalities and research interests. Headed up by Simon Hannam – Zoe Smith, Abhi Lall, Cristine Sortica da Costa, Kathryn Martinello and Maria Challas now share the weekly ward rounds on NICU and have created a neonatal outreach service for GOSH.
As part of her research, Cristine Sortica da Costa told us a bit more about why she specialised in neonates: “I always had an interest in perinatal and critical care. My focus on critically ill babies stems from my research interests – I did a PhD on monitoring blood flow to the brain on preterm babies and I aim to transfer my research skills to my work at GOSH.”