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Report of the Eighth Census Conference on Newborn ICU Design
Committee to Establish Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design
Robert D. White, MD, Chair
January 26, 2012 Clearwater Beach, FL
   September 18, 2012
Standard 14 - Support Space for Ancillary Services

Distinct support space shall be provided for all clinical services that are routinely performed in the NICU.

Space for preparation and storage of formula and additives to human milk and formula shall be provided within the unit or other location that is away from the bedside7. When a separate room for infant feeding preparation is not merited due to infrequency of need, commercial preparation off premises or other reasons, a separate area in the food services area or in the patient unit shall be designated for infant feeding preparation. Hospital food preparation design guidelines shall be followed.

When the functional program requires a separate room, the room shall include the following areas that can be separated in individual rooms or combined:
(a) Ante area
(b) Preparation area
(c) Storage space for supplies, formula, and both refrigerated and frozen breast milk.
(d) Clean-up area

To minimize contamination, the ventilation system should have a minimum filtration of 90% based on the American Society of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Engineers standards or have a HEPA forced air filtration system.

Provisions shall be included for human milk storage. Human milk may be stored in a designated space in the infant feeding preparation room, and in designated spaces on the patient unit.

Interpretation: Ancillary services such as (but not necessarily limited to) respiratory therapy, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, developmental therapy, and specialized feeding preparation are common in the NICU. Distance, size, and access are important considerations when designing space for each of these functions. Satellite facilities may be required to provide these services in a timely manner.

Unless performed elsewhere in the hospital, a specialized feedings preparation area or room should be provided in the NICU, away from the bedside, to permit mixing of additives to breast milk or formula. The cleanliness of the floor surface, walls and ceilings should be easily maintained. Floor drains are not recommended unless required by local code. Adequate sinks, electrical outlets and storage should be provided based on the individual hospital facility needs. The use of a laminar flow hood is a decision that each hospital should make. Pharmacies are not required to use laminar flow hoods to prepare oral medications. Powdered formulas are not sterile, and preparing them under a laminar flow hood does not improve the sterility of the product. All water supplied for feeding preparation should meet Federal Standards for drinking water and be commercially sterile. Commercially sterile water is preferred because it has eliminated pathogenic and other organisms, that if present, could grow in the product and produce spoilage under normal conditions of handling and storage.


Additional Information
last updated September 19, 2012  Kathleen Kolberg, University of Notre Dame