High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Service

The High-Risk Infant/Neonatal Follow-up Service, of the Fetal and Neonatal Institute, provides ongoing developmental, behavioral and growth assessment and follow-up for infants at high risk for growth and developmental issues due to conditions in the newborn period that required care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

Our multidisciplinary team of experts represents neonatology, developmental-behavioral pediatrics, social work, nutrition, nursing and occupational and physical therapy. Each member has extensive experience in addressing the ongoing needs of families faced with caring for their medically complex infant. Services are provided in our Boone Fetter Clinic.  

Infants We See

We serve families with infants who are at risk of having problems as they grow and develop because of experiencing issues in the newborn period such as:

  • Certain difficulties during the birth process
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Conditions requiring treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) 
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Intensive and lengthy medical interventions 
  • Low birth weight
  • Neurological complications, such as intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), seizures, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), stroke, meningitis
  • Prematurity
  • Prenatal surgery
  • Severe medical illness
  • Other eligible diagnoses under California Children’s Services criteria

About the High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Process

Initial Visit

In most cases, the first visit will be one or two months after the baby leaves the hospital. At this visit, the family will have a chance to see and talk to one of our physicians, a social worker and a nutritionist, if needed. This visit typically lasts about one hour. The team will examine the infant and talk to the family about how the transition to home has been for them, address any current concerns they might have, and assess what services might be needed at the following visits.

Subsequent Visits

  • Visit 2 (4-8 months)
  • Visit 3 (9-15 months)
  • Visit 4 (18-36 months)

Subsequent visits to the Clinic are longer, lasting up to two hours or more. The family will meet with multiple specialists to assess progress and needs of the child and any other concerns they have. These visits will include comprehensive assessments that cover:

  • Medical history since last visit
  • Physical/neurological examination
  • Comprehensive developmental evaluation
  • Family support
  • Growth and nutrition assessment
  • Coordination of services for additional care

Throughout this evaluation process, families receive support and information to advance their child’s growth and development. When necessary, appropriate referrals are facilitated to community agencies and early intervention programs.

Referrals for Additional Care

The infant may be referred to other specialists in our hospital for additional follow-up care outside of the standard services offered in our clinic. Examples include:

  • Audiology (hearing evaluation)
  • Gastroenterology (GI)
  • Ophthalmology (eye evaluation)
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology