H-SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Dec 20, 2012 9:20 AM by Katie Ferber, KSBY News

Cottage Hospital NICU celebrates 25th anniversary

Cottage Hospital's NICU, or neo-natal intensive care unit, celebrates its 25th anniversary Thursday.

An estimated 5-10% of babies who are born are admitted to the intensive care unit each year.

Since it opened on December 20, 1987, more than 8,000 newborns from Atascadero to Thousand Oaks have spent time in the unit.

Not all babies admitted to the NICU are born early. About half are full-term babies who develop some kind of complication at delivery. Officials say the average length of stay in the NICU is about 15 days, although some very premature infants can be hospitalized for more than three months.

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