High-risk premature infants and newborns with life-threatening congenital and acquired diseases are cared for and treated at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Koç University Hospital. Our team consists of neonatology and pediatrics specialists and nurses trained in this specific field of care. Since the year 2015, the unit has been offering neonatology services within the framework of an evidence-based, current, ethical and excellence-oriented academic approach. Our activities start with prenatal diagnosis and preparation and continue with postnatal treatment and post-discharge follow-up. The specialists empowering the unit, which is fully equipped with the most recent technology, keep track of advancements in their respective fields and constantly update their knowledge. Our ever-expanding and highly experienced staff assists newborns who have to face intrinsic problems at such an early stage of their lives and also their parents in a compassionate, selfless, baby-friendly and empathic manner, and walk them through this hard time in their lives.  

Persisting quality of service is ensured through regular training and audits. The following events are conducted regularly:
  • Perinatology meetings, where cases of mothers experiencing a risky process of pregnancy and their babies are discussed
  • Weekly scientific article hours among pediatrics students
  • Monthly unit meetings attended by all of our nurses and physicians  


Practices of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  • Hypothermia therapy
  • Ductus arteriosus ligation surgeries by cardiovascular surgeons
  • Peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis
  • Intraocular injections bot ophthalmologists
  • Thoracic intubation, ankyloglossia procedures, newborn circumcision and passage x-rays by pediatric surgeons
  • Nasopharyngeal and laryngoscopic examination by otorhinolaryngology 
  • EEG monitoring study by Neurology
  • Echocardiogram study by pediatric cardiology
  • Ultrasound scan by radiologists
  • Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) therapy for pulmonary hypertension
  • Digital portable x-rays


Care Services Available at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  • Follow-up of pregnancies diagnosed with risks in prenatal terms or suspected for specific diseases in collaboration with Obstetrics and other departments that may be relevant. 
  • Care with appropriate respiratory and parenteral/enteral nutrition support for premature infants
  • Screening tests aimed at early diagnosis of diseases associated with premature delivery and neonatal term; regular hearing and ophthalmological examination, ultrasound scan and echocardiogram investigations; configuration of treatment when necessary
  • Coordination with pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery for diagnosis and treatment of congenital cardiac diseases
  • Diagnosis of congenital conditions requiring surgical attention, preoperative/postoperative care in collaboration with pediatric surgery
  • Exchange of opinions with, referral to and post-discharge follow-up in collaboration with various pediatric branches such as endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology and neurology as well as departments like otorhinolaryngology, dermatology, plastic surgery, orthopedics and neurosurgery
  • Planning genetic testing process for prenatal and postnatal diagnosis of genetic conditions in coordination with the department of medical genetics
  • Training of parents of high-risk infants regarding post-discharge care, planning upcoming follow-ups
  • Planning and administering vaccines, prophylactic treatment and nutritional support

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Neonatology
  • General pediatrics

Prematurity (early delivery)

Babies delivered before the expected term may be unable to sustain vital functions such as respiration, feeding and preservation of body temperature, which means they need to be supported by simulating circumstances similar to the womb. The necessary support is provided at our unit with the help of modern technological facilities like incubator, patient monitors, respirators, parenteral nutrition systems etc. 


Diseases specific to the neonatal period

Some diseases that are life-threatening or might result in permanent damage like jaundice, necrotizing enterocolitis, retinopathy of prematurity, patent ductus arteriosus, respiratory distress syndrome, intracranial hemorrhage etc. might be encountered during the neonatal period. Our unit adopts painstaking observation measures for prevention and early diagnosis and treatment of such conditions. Newborns’ examinations and investigations, including hearing and ophthalmological examinations, cranial USG, EEG, echocardiogram etc., are conducted in accordance with their screening programs.  


Congenital malformations, syndromes, metabolic/endocrine/genetic diseases etc.

Some structural disorders or diseases may be detectable right away, whereas others may manifest symptoms during the first days of life. If such disorders or diseases are identified or suspected, patients are evaluated in collaboration with medical genetics or other relevant departments in order to diagnose their conditions with special tests and screening procedures. 


Surgical diseases

Neonates who underwent pediatric, cardiovascular, plastic or otorhinolaryngological surgery are observed at our unit during the preoperative and postoperative periods. 


Infectious diseases

Infections are among the most prominent problems experienced at intensive care units, and unfortunately, rate of infection can never be reduced to zero. However, the risk may be mitigated substantially by employing strict measures. If necessary, this group of infants can be observed in rooms specifically designated to this purpose. 


Perinatal asphyxia

This is an incident where the baby might be deprived of oxygen due to various reasons and sustain damage to some organs, primarily the brain. To mitigate this damage as much as possible, whole-body therapeutic hypothermia is practiced at our unit. Long term monitoring under aEEG, a special format of regular EEG, and MRI imaging (under supervision of an anesthesiologist, if necessary) are conducted to determine the impact on the brain.   

Service Subcategories of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
 

Level 1 Intensive Care:

  • Neonates unable to preserve body temperature
  • Late premature infants, neonates experiencing difficulty with breastfeeding
  • Hypoglycemia that will not improve with enteral nutrition
  • Neonates who require or will most likely require phototherapy  
  • Neonates receiving up to 24 hours of free-flow oxygen support and need to be observed under monitoring or pulse oximetry


Level 2 Intensive Care:

  • Neonates who weigh 1500-2500 gr, cannot preserve body temperature, are hypoglycemic, and cannot be fed orally
  • Neonates who weigh >2500 gr and remain hypoglycemic for over 24 hours or receive O2 support
  • Neonates who weigh >1500 gr and have to receive oxygen support for over 24 hours or require nasal respiratory support
  • Neonates who weigh >2500 gr, have a central venous catheter or have undergone minor surgical intervention  
  • Neonates who weigh >1500 gr and had a blood transfusion or received IVIg therapy
  • Neonates who are treated for arrythmia
  • ​Infants with infections -on condition that it is not highly severe-, congenital anomalies and systemic diseases 


Leve 3 Intensive Care:

  • All neonates weighing <1500 gr 
  • Neonates with dysfunction in two or more organs, requiring circulation support
  • Neonates requiring invasive mechanical ventilation support
  • Neonates who weigh 1500-2500 gr, have a central venous catheter or have undergone minor surgical intervention
  • Neonates who went through peritoneal dialysis or hemofiltration
  • Therapeutic hypothermia
  • Treatment and examination for retinopathy
  • Neonates requiring thoracic intubation
  • Echocardiography 

 

Isolation chambers

In cases of risky infection, neonates are observed in special negative-pressure chambers. 


Co-sleeping rooms

To evaluate harmony between the mother and a neonate due for discharge, they stay in a special room for several nights. 


Neonatology polyclinic

Neonates who were treated at our unit and discharged, have their initial follow-ups at our unit. Regular follow-ups are held for high-risk babies.