The development of the Department of Neonatology is closely related to the establishment and development of the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatrics. As an important unit, the Department of Neonatology was established in 1992 by the order of the Rector of Kaunas Medical Academy.  Since then, the Department has established a unity of clinical work, studies and science. The first head of the Department was the head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Dr. Antanas Pužas, from 2001 – Assoc. Prof. Dalia Daugėlienė, from 2004 – Assoc. Prof. Eglė Markūnienė, from 2011 – Prof. Dr. Rasa Tamelienė.

In 1992, when the Perinatology programme was launched in Lithuania, Kaunas Perinatology Centre was established, and the Department of Neonatology became an integral part of this centre. Kaunas Perinatology Centre treats premature newborns from Kaunas, Šiauliai and Klaipėda region with congenital and acquired diseases. Newborn surgeries are performed at the department. The Department of Neonatology has a 12-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and an 80-bed Neonatal Disease Unit. The Department also has a Remote Outcomes Monitoring Room, which is visited by all high-risk newborns from the territory served by the Perinatology Centre. The Department treats about 3800 newborns per year, of which about 500 are premature newborns. The Department promotes family-oriented nursing, in 2005 the Department of Neonatology was granted, and in 2017 the name of a newborn-friendly hospital was renewed.

About 500 LSMU students study at the Department of Neonatology each year, including about 80 international students: Fifth year students of the Faculty of Medicine in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology module, sixth year students in elective cycles “Healthy Newborn” and “Newborn Breastfeeding”, third – fourth year students of the Faculty of Nursing in the Obstetrics module, fourth year students in the elective cycle “Promotion of Natural Nursing and Lactation Management”. Students carry out summer practice and prepare Master’s research thesis work at the Department. Members of the Neonatology team, founded in 2009, prepare research work for Student’s Scientific Society conferences.

The students’ knowledge and experience are conveyed by a team of lecturers working in the Department, which includes 5 doctors of science, two of them being professors and three associate professors. The team also employs 1 Master of Psychology, 2 Masters of Education and 1 Master of Management and Administration. Students are given lectures, seminars, tutorials, practice work in the Department and in the hybrid laboratory. Educators themselves are constantly improving their qualifications at both clinical and educational scientific conferences in Portugal, Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, Germany and in internships at the University hospitals of Lund and Karolinska in Sweden, USA Chicago Illinois, Spain, Gregorio Maranon in Madrid, and share their experience with Lithuanian and international doctors and nurses, organising scientific – practical conferences, seminars, development companies, internships.

Since 1994, the Department has been involved in the preparation of residents: 3 specialities of Children’s Diseases, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Emergency Care residency programmes. The Department of Neonatology carries out clinical studies in the fields of neonatal asphyxia, nursing, remote outcomes monitoring, safe hospital, staff burnout. There are currently 4 doctoral students. 8 doctoral dissertations have already been defended at the Department. The Department participates in five doctoral programmes: “Anaesthesia and Intensive Therapy During Pregnancy and Childbirth”, “Peculiarities of Adaptation and Development of the Newborn”, “Reproductive Health: Biological, Medical and Bioethical Aspects”, “Perinatal Infection”, “Application of Molecular Methods to Scientific Research”.

In 2011, the first textbook Neonatology was published in Lithuania, as well as textbooks on perinatology and children’s diseases published with co-authors. The results of their work are published in Lithuanian and international journals.

The Department participates in international projects:

  • 2011-2012, LSMU Department of Neonatology, Estonian Science Foundation and The University of Liverpool The Use of Excipients in Neonatal Medication (European Study of Neonatal Excipient Exposure).
  • 2012-2013, LSMU Department of Neonatology in Multicentre Epidemiological Study European Survey of Sedation and Analgesia Practices for Newborns Admitted to Intensive Care Units.
  • 2012-2016, LSMU Department of Neonatology in Lithuanian-Swiss cooperation programme Improving Maternal and Neonatal Healthcare in Lithuania.
  • 2017-present, LSMU Department of Neonatology in multi-centre study Measuring compliance with the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative for the Neonatal Wards.
  • 2018-present, LSMU Department of Neonatology in the multi-centre study the 2nd International Closeness Survey.


Prof. Dr. Rasa Tamelienė
Head of the Department of Neonatology
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