Dell Children’s now designated Level IV NICU center

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has achieved a Level IV designation for its neonatal intensive care unit from the Texas Department of State Health Services. It’s the 12th NICU in the state to be given that status and the second in Austin.

“This designation highlights our commitment to providing a full scope of medical and surgical services to newborns who need specialized care,” said Dr. John Loyd chief of neonatology at Dell Children’s.

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas at 4900 Mueller Blvd. Daulton Venglar/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

St. David’s Medical Center achieved a Level IV designation in August, and its North Austin sibling has a level III designation. Seton Medical Center also has a level III designation NICU.

“We are pleased to have earned this recognition, as it is a direct result of the service and dedication of our neonatal team,” said Rhonda Reed, director of the NICU at St. David’s Medical Center, in a press release, when St. David’s found out its designation status. “This recognition reinforces our commitment to providing the highest level of care, resulting in optimal patient outcomes.”

What’s the difference between the two levels?

Level IV facilities have specialists available 24 hours a day and are able to handle the most complex cases including cardiac and pulmonary surgical needs as well as emergency surgeries. These facilities can handle babies who are born prematurely, have a trauma at birth, have a genetic defect or have a serious contagious illness or a drug withdrawal.

State of Texas guidelines now require all NICUs to undergo evaluation to make sure they are meeting the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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