Small Baby Program

Paving the Future of Care So the Tiniest, Most Fragile Babies May Thrive

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Dr. Nelin Discusses Small Baby Guidelines

Small Baby Program

The survival rate for extremely premature babies is improving dramatically. A decade ago, it was only 10 percent for babies born at 23 weeks. Today, the survival rate at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is 78 percent for these babies.

The Small Baby Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is helping improve extremely premature babies’ outcomes. It’s a dedicated approach to small baby care. It embraces the needs of both the premature baby and the family that loves him or her. 

As a result of the dedicated, multidisciplinary care they receive, premature babies at Nationwide Children’s are doing more than surviving. They’re catching up to their peers. They’re thriving.

US News Badge Neonatology

Nationwide Children's Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Neonatology.

What Makes Us Different

The Small Baby Program is dedicated to the care of babies born at less than 27 weeks. It follows standard protocols for care – bedside tested and family centered.

These protocols for neonatal care are called Small Baby Guidelines (SBG). Nationwide Children’s interdisciplinary team of pediatric physicians and nurses, who are devoted to the care of premature babies, developed them.

These guidelines outline care regarding:

  • Newborn intensive care
  • Development
  • Nutrition
  • Cardiovascular functioning
  • Infection
  • Any other potential health concerns

Babies treated according to the SBGs require shorter hospital stays. They are less likely to experience intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Our Small Baby Program and its neonatology experts have attracted interest from neonatal centers from across the country.

Follow-Up Care

The day baby goes home is a great day for everyone. But the Small Baby Program doesn’t stop there.

The babies continue to receive care from the Small Baby Program. Families return home with specific, continuing treatment plans for their babies.

In addition, there is a commitment to ongoing consultation between Nationwide Children’s staff and the patient’s primary care physician.

Make a Referral 

Call the Physician Direct Connect Line toll free at (877) 355-0221, for physician consults and to coordinate a patient transport, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Willow N

Read Willow's Story

Name: Willow N.
Condition(s): Prematurity, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia BPD
Age Today: 8 Years

Willow was born when her mother was only 22 weeks along. After she was born, she was transported immediately to Nationwide Children's Small Baby Program, which specializes in micro preemies.