Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Saari

Street address
Women's Hospital
Haartmaninkatu 2, Helsinki

Postal address
P.O. Box 140, FIN-00029 HUS

Contact information
Office: 09 471 72717
Fax: 09 471 74713

Nurse Manager: Elisabet Mäntysalo
Ward physician: Marjo Metsäranta

Visiting Hours: There are no set visiting hours, but restrictions are applied when required by the circumstances. Families will be informed in advance about any limitations to the visiting hours.

Saari is a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for premature and full-term babies born in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa and the HUCH specialist medical care area. Intensive care is typically required when a baby is born premature, experiences difficulties in breathing, has an infection or birth defect, presents neurological disorders or there have been labor complications or problems caused by the mother's disease. The unit is prepared to receive neonates requiring intensive care 24 hours a day.

At the NICU, there are 23 intensive care beds. On average, 2000 neonates are treated at the NICU every year. Approximately 150 of the 500 neonates weigh less than 1,500 grams when they arrive at the unit and 60 of them were born weighing less than 1,000 grams. Typically, two out of three neonates treated at the NICU are nearly full-term. The average treatment period at the NICU is 9 days, although the smallest premature babies may need to stay at the unit for several months. After being discharged, some of the patients visit the unit's outpatient clinic for follow-up.

Neonatal intensive care is being developed constantly and our treatment results rank high in international comparisons. The smallest premature baby to survive was born weighing less than 400 grams. Nine out of ten very low birth weight babies survive and most live a normal life.

In addition to skilled personnel, neonatal intensive care requires advanced machinery, including ventilators, incubators, monitoring equipment and infusion (IV) machines. Many of the examinations and surgical procedures the babies need can be performed at the unit.

Having their baby admitted to NICU comes as a surprise to most parents. Encouraging early bonding with the baby and supporting parenting are essential parts of neonatal intensive care. Parents participate in caring for their baby from the start. The NICU personnel offer instructions and advice to the parents. A group for the parents of premature babies assembles on Wednesday nights to hear lectures on the needs of special babies and for peer support.

Babies who no longer need intensive care are transferred to their local hospital for further care. Further care is most commonly provided on Jorvi Hospital's Neonatal ward L2.

The shared hope for a best possible future for the baby unites the personnel, family members and friends of the family. Holding the baby or having him or her out for skin-to-skin contact for the first time is a special moment for the parents, and when a premature baby reaches 1,000 grams, we organize a "one-kilo-feast" with cake for the family and team members.