Level II Neonatal Units
The concept of a regionalized system encompassing three broadly defined levels of neonatal care is now well recognized and increasingly practiced in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics has described, in some detail, a system of classifying nurseries as Levels I, II, or III, based on the type of care they are capable of providing for the newborn infant.1
There has been little question about the composition of care in Level I or Level III units, but the committee recognizes that there is considerable diversity of opinion about the definition of Level II units and the functions these units should perform. The concept of the Level II neonatal unit has, in general, been supported by most pediatricians and neonatologists; however, there is little factual information available about Level II units, how they function, and how they contribute to perinatal outcome.
The committee sent 300 questionnaires to the directors of all neonatal training programs, to the Chairmen of all Academy Chapters, and to 70 other practicing pediatricians. Responses were received from 114 Level III centers, 46 Level II centers, and 7 Level I hospitals. The responses came from 45 states and five Canadian provinces.
According to the responses and the thoughtful comments received, the functions of Level II units are of considerable interest and concern to many pediatricians; but, obviously, it is impossible to suggest universal solutions for all regions which will cover all possible occurrences.
The committee has considered all the opinions expressed and the information available regarding the functioning of Level II units and makes the following recommendations:
- Copyright © 1980 by the American Academy of Pediatrics