Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - NICU

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Our skilled respiratory specialists support you throughout your treatment. To schedule pulmonary function tests, call 310-794-9721.

UCLA Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a leading level III Neonatal Care Center

NICU team

UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital is part of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital is one of the leading level III neonatal care centers in Southern California.

Respiratory Therapists are active participants in the NICU multidisciplinary team. The Respiratory Team provides care for patients requiring various modalities of non-invasive as well as invasive ventilation, such as high frequency oscillation, administration of oxygen through nasal cannula and high flow therapy. The Respiratory Team is responsible for delivering bronchodilator therapies and nebulized antibiotics. The Respiratory Team is responsible for advanced airway management. We provide services to our patients with complex cardio-pulmonary disease processes by providing Nitric Oxide, Nitrogen and Heliox therapies as well as to our patients on ECMO and full body cooling. The NICU Respiratory Therapy team provides support to other members of the healthcare team by performing point of care blood gas analysis as well as xray interpretation. We attend all high-risk deliveries and are valuable members of the internal and external Transport team. The role of the Respiratory Therapy team extends beyond direct care of patients. They are active participants in current research studies being performed within the NICU. They educate not only respiratory students from community respiratory programs that rotate through the NICU, but also nursing students and staff. Respiratory Therapists respond to Code Blue, Code Pink and Code Purple calls within the unit.

Hratch Kayichian

Hratch Kayichian, RT, RCP, RTIII
Clinical Specialist, NICU, PICU

NICU at UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica

The UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a Level III NICU care center. Our unit of 16 acute care beds is staffed by highly trained and dedicated neonatal Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) who are key members of the multidisciplinary NICU team; which includes neonatologists, neonatology fellows, neonatal nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists and lactation consultants. This integrated NICU team works together to provide care and support for these critical tiny patients.

The NICU RCP core team is a specialized group of therapists that work specifically in this area. These therapists are nationally credentialed as Neonatal Pediatric Specialists (NPS) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certified. Additionally all members of the team are intubation certified.

Our NICU respiratory therapists at Santa Monica are responsible for neonatal therapeutic equipment and processes including:

  • Intubation
  • Ventilator management
  • Surfactant administration
  • Oxygen administration and management
  • ABG drawing and interpretation
  • Active participation in daily bedside MD rounds
  • Parent education & discharge teaching
  • MCH & L&D staff education

NICU RCP's attend all high-risk deliveries and C-section births, respond to Emergency Room calls and are part of the PICU Rapid Response Team to provide back up for intubations as needed.