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Neonatology

We look after the baby's health, even before birth, with the exhaustive monitoring of mother and child if any problem is detected.

At the Neonatology Department, we look after your child's health from before the birth. We form part of BCNatal, Centre for Materno-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, with sites at the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital and Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. 

If any problems are detected during pregnancy, we monitor the mother and the baby throughout gestation and, at the time of the birth, we are prepared to take action. 

We treat around 600 neonates requiring admission into the Neonatal Unit every year, 80% of which are born in the Hospital itself. We also treat babies referred from other hospitals. We offer adapted neonatal transport for transferring the most seriously ill patients.

We have mastered all the techniques of maximum complexity: surgery of all types, ECMO (extracorporeal life-support in the case of respiratory or circulatory failure), hypothermia for birth asphyxia, extrarenal dialysis systems (peritoneal dialysis, ultrafiltration), among many other surgical procedures and interventions. 

We are highly experienced in treating extremely preterm infants. We have created a special high immaturity program for infants born between week 23 and week 28 of pregnancy and weighing between 500 and 1,000 grams.

Specialties

Prematurity and low birth weight

We have the human and technical resources to treat premature infants, including the most extreme cases born at 23 weeks gestation and weighing only 500 grams.

It is not covered by public health

Congenital heart disease

We treat 100 annual cases of congenital heart disease in the neonate in collaboration with Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology to treat congenital heart disease in newborns. We are a paediatric national reference center for cardiac surgery.

It is not covered by public health

Diaphragmatic hernia

We have a comprehensive Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) with which we serve 18 patients a year on average. Our attention includes care, surgery and follow-up to school age.

It is not covered by public health

Cardiorespiratory impairment

In serious cases of cardiorespiratory impairment, we use extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) systems and ultrafiltration. We attend between 60 and 80 patients a year in this area.

It is not covered by public health

Neonatal Neurology - Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy

We use active hypothermia to treat newborns with moderate to severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy with an annual average of between 12 and 15 patients.

It is not covered by public health

Nervous system malformations

We address all congenital anomalies of the central nervous system in premature newborns and neonates.

It is not covered by public health

Stroke

We have a specific programme for stroke in newborns.

It is not covered by public health

Neonatal surgery

We use surgery on all types of malformations. We use minimally invasive surgery in indicated cases. We perform annually between 110 and 120 surgeries in the neonatal period.

It is not covered by public health

Digestive malformations

We treat and intervene in oesophageal and intestinal atresia, omphalocele, and gastroschisis, among others, using minimally invasive surgery wherever possible. Every year we respond to between 10 and 15 cases.

It is not covered by public health

Urinary tract malformations

We treat and operate on hydronephrosis, malformations of the urethral valves and other urinary tract malformations, using minimally invasive surgery wherever possible.

It is not covered by public health

Craniofacial surgery

We assess newborns with cleft lips and palates and operate if we consider it to be the right time.

It is not covered by public health

Other specialties

  • Congenital infections.
  • Metabolic and nutritional disorders particular to newborns.
  • Neonatal jaundice.
  • Epidermolysis bullosa.
  • Rare diseases.

 

 

  • Neonatal Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology.
  • Care for newborns with Down's syndrome.
  • Monitoring of newborns at risk of impaired psychomotor and neurosensory development.

Our figures

Newborns cared for
600
on a yearly average
Pre-terms <32 weeks
150
cared for a year
Scientific publications
134
between 2015 and 2020

A neonatal ICU to facilitate the family's involvement in child care and to manage complex cases

In 2021, the Neonatology Service started up an area that is four times larger than the previous one, with more beds, offering families a space that is conducive to the presence of the parents and their involvement in the care of their child. Scientific evidence has shown that having these type of spaces promotes the well-being of pre-term babies and also reduces hospital-acquired infections. The space is also equipped with cutting-edge technology to cater for the most complex situations: it has three boxes that can be turned into operating rooms, two beds fitted with ECMO and up to four levels of patient monitoring. 

I became a nurse to work with young children. I was hooked on neonatology.
Anna Palau, nurse of the Neonatology Unit
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