MetroHealth's Special Care Developmental Follow-Up Clinic, or “Preemie Clinic” is an outpatient, appointment-based program made just for high-risk babies who had one or more of the following conditions:
- weighed less than 1,500 grams at birth—often referred to as very low birth-weight babies
- had intraventricular hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain
- need 24-hour home oxygen therapy or cardiorespiratory monitoring
- had a difficult NICU stay
Our Preemie Clinic brings together many of the experts your baby needs in one place. Marc F. Collin, MD is the clinic director and medical director of our MetroHealth NICU. He's a highly experienced neonatologist who also launched the program in 1989. We have neonatology fellows, a neonatology nutritionist, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, home monitor technicians and respiratory therapists.
If your baby is considered high-risk, you'll be invited to attend the special care clinic after your little one is discharged from the hospital. Debbie Lawson, our discharge coordinator, will schedule you within one week after going home. After that, your baby will see us regularly for up to two years.
Babies do not need to be born at MetroHealth Medical Center to receive follow-up care in the Preemie Clinic. Many infants come here from other hospitals for care. Since 1989, thousands of babies have gone through the clinic, which welcomes an estimated 150 to 200 new babies a year. By providing ongoing care, the program helps keep babies from repeated hospital admissions.
More than a Checkup
The clinic doesn't replace your baby's well-child visits with a pediatrician. However, the Preemie Clinic can help with medical problems that might be too complicated to discuss during routine appointments. For example, our experts help ensure that your baby's oxygen therapy, tube feeding or medications are helping your child. In time, the team helps wean your baby off these therapies.
During your office visits, our experts track your baby's growth and development—which can be very different for preemies compared to other babies. You'll find out when your baby should sit up, roll over and grasp objects. Your doctor offers reassurance and help if your baby is falling behind common developmental milestones.
At our Preemie Clinic, your baby can be seen by many experts at once. For example, if your baby has an issue that could be helped by physical or occupational therapy, those experts will be available to see your baby. We also arrange for your baby to see specialists in our clinic, such as:
- Eye doctors
- Hearing specialists
- Heart doctors
- Pediatric surgeons
Our top preemie experts give you and your baby the time and attention you need. A clinic visit can sometimes run up to 2 to 3 hours, depending on how many specialists are involved.
While babies are our focus, we are also here for you. We know how challenging it can be to take care of a baby with special medical needs. Questions about your baby's care at home? Need a ride getting to your baby's follow-up appointments with specialists? Let us know how we can help.
Parents and families can reach the Preemie Clinic by calling Debbie Lawson, our coordinator, at 216-778-3882. To contact the NICU directly, call 216-778-5918.