Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) will present the ICU Design Citation to the newborn and infant critical care unit (NICCU) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles during the 2014 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Denver, May 17-22.

The NICCU receives the award to recognize the patient- and family-focused elements incorporated into the design of the state-of-the-art 58-bed unit.

The unit admits critically ill infants up to 52 weeks postnatal age (up to six months after delivery of a term newborn) who require highly specialized medical and nursing care. More than 400 critically ill neonates receive care in the unit each year.

The NICCU is located on the third floor of the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, a 460,000-square-foot inpatient facility that opened in July 2011. The new building increased the hospital’s overall capacity by 317 beds, including 120 beds dedicated to intensive care. The expansion nearly doubled the number of beds in the NICCU, from 30 to 58 beds.

Patient vital signs are electronically tracked and stored in real time within a child’s electronic medical record, and patient rooms for critically ill children are equipped with surgical booms to allow for procedures at the bedside, if necessary.

The pavilion has HEPA filtration throughout, as part of its infection control efforts.

Patient rooms incorporate a distinct “family zone,” which includes space for parents to stay overnight. Each floor includes a family lounge with spaces for quiet and reflection, as well as family alcoves.

The coveted award — co-sponsored by the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Mount Prospect, Illinois, and the Committee on Architecture for Health of the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco — recognizes intensive care units that successfully combine functional design with humanitarian care delivery.

About the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition: Established in 1974, AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) represents the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Bedside nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners attend NTI.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.;;