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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)


a nurse feeding a preemie baby with a tiny bottle

The Fairfax Neonatal Associates NICU at Inova Children’s Hospital


Inova Children's Hospital is home to the largest, most comprehensive subspecialty neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the region. Our 108-bed, Level IV NICU cares for high-risk infants requiring specialized care and observation. (See information further down the page about NICU services at other Inova locations.)


Among the Best in the Nation for Neonatology


gold badgeInova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital has been named one of the Top 50 Hospitals in the United States for neonatology care by U.S. News and World Report.



Gold Seal from The Joint Commission


gold sealThe NICU is also the first in the nation to receive The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for Prematurity. This certification represents the highest level of care for premature birth patients.


A commitment to high-quality care


Inova Children’s Hospital is an active participant in the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), which is dedicated to improving the quality and safety of the medical care provided to newborn infants. Using the network database, we are continually comparing outcomes of our smallest and most fragile infants – those weighing less than 1500 grams – against other similarly capable NICUs. Inova Children’s Hospital consistently ranks in the top decile across VON measures. Quality improvement is always a major goal. Our recent efforts have focused on reducing retinopathy of prematurity, central line blood stream infections, breast milk usage, and respiratory care. Secondary to improvements in these areas, The Joint Commission awarded its first Gold Seal of Approval to the NICU at Inova Children's Hospital.


Specialized transport for special babies


Our highly trained team can transport, by air or ground, any infant born within a 200-mile radius who requires the services provided at Inova Children's Hospital. A dedicated pediatric critical care ambulance serves as a NICU on wheels when transport is necessary. For more information, call 703-776-6020.


Neonatal whole body cooling


Inova Children's Hospital now offers neonatal whole body cooling, a procedure that treats newborns with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This abnormal neurological state may occur when there is reduced oxygen (hypoxia) or blood flow (ischemia) to the brain or body. Learn more arrow


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)


Inova Children’s Hospital has expanded its Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program to now support the complex needs of newborns and children dealing with either cardiac failure or respiratory failure. Learn more about ECMO at Inova arrow



NICU Services at Other Inova Hospitals


Inova's comprehensive array of women’s care and childbirth options means specialized intensive care for fragile newborns is readily available at each Inova hospital that offers maternity services.


Inova Loudoun Hospital


Inova Loudoun Hospital is home to Loudoun County's highest level NICU. Our Level III NICU provides around-the-clock observation and care for premature and sick infants as young as 28 weeks.

Board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs), respiratory therapists, physical therapists, speech-language therapists, lactation consultants and dietitians offer expert care and educational and emotional support for families. For more information, call 703-858-6350.


Inova Fair Oaks Hospital


Inova Fair Oaks Hospital’s level III NICU offers 24-hour staffing from highly experienced, board-certified neonatologists, specially trained and certified nurses and board-certified lactation consultants, dedicated to neonatal intensive care. Our 19 private rooms have the supplies and equipment to perform all the necessary care without having to move your baby and are furnished with comfortable overnight accommodations for you and your spouse, including a bed, television, bathroom, breast pump and Internet access. For more information, call 703-391-3560.


Inova Alexandria Hospital


Inova Alexandria Hospital offers a newly renovated, fully staffed, 16-bed level III NICU. Newborns who are premature or have special needs are well cared for around-the-clock in our family-centered NICU by specially trained board-certified neonatologists, as well as specialized nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists and nutritionists. Our newest additions are the Giraffe® Radiant Warmers and isolettes that create a womb-like environment, and Giraffe® OmniBeds®. Also, all of our beds have state-of-the-art monitors. For more information, call 703-504-3338.