The Section of Neonatology is located at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas Children’s Hospital is a private, non-profit, freestanding children’s hospital with 336 beds. Established in 1910, the hospital underwent rapid growth in the 1980s and is now one of the largest children’s hospitals in the nation. The hospital serves as the major pediatric teaching affiliate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The hospital is part of the only pediatric hospital system in the state of Arkansas and serves as a referral center for areas of Mississippi, southern Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, northern Louisiana, and northeast Texas. Having the largest NICU in this area allows us to provide neonatal-perinatal fellows with abundant, thorough, and varied clinical experiences in the care of neonates. Nationally renowned programs such as the pediatric cardiovascular surgery program and the ECMO program attract patients from other areas of the country as well. The ECMO program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s busiest.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the base for the UAMS pediatric residency program, which currently has 74 pediatric residents, 19 medicine-pediatrics residents, and two child neurology residents enrolled in the program. Fellows in neonatology play a key role in educating pediatric housestaff in the care of critically ill neonates.
The Arkansas Children’s Hospital operates Angel One – an extremely busy neonatal and pediatric transport service, utilizing two helicopters, three ambulances, and a variety of fixed-winged aircraft. Fellows have ample opportunity to gain experience in transport and learning to provide medical control for a transport team. The Angel One team averages approximately 80 NICU transports per month.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is the state’s only academic medical center and is responsible for training more than 80 percent of the physicians in Arkansas as well as the majority of other medical professionals. Fellows gain extensive experience in leading the resuscitation of high-risk newborns, in the management of extremely low birth weight infants, and in prenatal consultation with families of high-risk pregnancies. In January 2009, the new NICU at UAMS opened with almost 60,000 sq ft of floor space. The new spacious unit has 64 private beds with six twin rooms. There is a large, comfortable family area with additional family sleep rooms and laundry facilities. UAMS has ~3700 deliveries per year with approximately 1/3 of newborns admitted to the NICU.
The NICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is 100-bed equipped and staffed to deliver a full range of care to critically ill neonates from throughout the state. Specially trained neonatal nurses are available for one-on-one patient care when needed. Neonatologists, pediatric house officers and neonatal nurse practitioners provide coverage to the unit, including 24-hour in-house staff neonatology coverage at the state’s only Level 4 NICU, providing both complete body cooling and neonatal ECMO. Subspecialists from all the pediatric disciplines are available for consultation 24 hours a day.