NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Graduate Clinic

Female doctor with stethoscope listening to the baby patient

Children who spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and/or are born prematurely, often need special care after leaving the hospital. We care for those children in the NICU Graduate Clinic.

The Kentucky Children’s Hospital NICU Graduate Clinic provides specialized medical and developmental follow-up care for babies and young children until about 3 years of age. The clinic not only serves babies who were cared for in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), but also children born prematurely who are at risk for developmental problems.

Babies who were born preterm or very sick are at increased risk for developmental problems. When developmental delays are identified early, services can be provided to help babies reach their full potential.

Developmental follow-up is tailored to meet the needs of each individual child. Each child is evaluated by a multidisciplinary team that may include a physician, a nurse, a dietitian, a physical therapist, a speech-language pathologist, a clinical psychologist and a social worker. A complete medical history is taken and a physical examination is completed at most visits.

Specific developmental testing varies with the child’s specific needs and his or her adjusted age, which accounts for premature birth. For example, a 6-month-old who was born three months prematurely has an adjusted age of 3 months.

At 3 months adjusted age, some babies undergo developmental screening. Formal developmental testing is usually completed at adjusted ages 6 months, 12 months and 24 months.

The medical follow-up we provide at the NICU Graduate Clinic is primarily focused on problems associated with high-risk deliveries or NICU stays. This care is intended to complement, not take the place of, the services provided by your child’s primary care provider. This medical care includes management and/or follow-up of feeding problems and breathing problems, such as those requiring home oxygen or monitors.

Patient referrals

For patient appointments, please ask your primary care provider or pediatrician to make a referral.

Health care providers, please visit our referral page to refer your patient to this service.


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