Neonatal Intensive Care

July 27, 2012 359 No of hits
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Neonatal Intensive Care

An intensive care unit is a unit of the hospital that offers medical treatment to critically ill patients who require constant monitoring. Newborn infants who require this kind of care are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, a unit staffed by neonatologists and specially trained nurses. Some of these babies were born premature and others were born with birth defects, genetic disorders or other challenges.

An infant is considered premature if it is born before 37 weeks of gestation. The average gestation period for a human is between 37 and 42 weeks. Babies born before the 37 week mark may be underdeveloped. Their lungs, heart, circulatory systems or digestive systems may not be strong enough to function normally. Many premature infants also have low birth weights. A birth weight of less than 5 lbs. 8 oz. (2,500 grams) can indicate a high risk for complications.

Not all hospitals have neonatal intensive care facilities. If a baby is born sick or premature at one of these hospitals, the infant must be transferred to a hospital that has the facilities to deal with the condition.

Neonatal intensive care facilities utilize a range of specialized equipment to support their patients. Some of this equipment is common to all intensive care units, including blood pressure monitors, cardiopulmonary monitors and respirators. Other equipment is unique to the neonatal intensive care unit. This can include: incubators, box-like cradles made of clear plastic, which keep infants warm and protect them from germs and noise; bililights, blue fluorescent lights that are used to treat jaundice, a condition that causes yellowing of the skin and eyes; and radiant warmers, open cribs with overhead heating sources.

The neonatal intensive care unit also has a specialized staff. Neonatologists are pediatric doctors specially trained in caring for infants who are sick at birth. NICU (pronounced Nik-yu) nurses spend most of their time at the bedside, monitoring infants and supporting families. Other staff may include respiratory, occupational and physical therapists as well as nutritionists, pharmacists and counselors.

Tags:   Neonatal intensive care   Intensive care   Premature   Neonatologists  

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An intensive care unit is a unit of the hospital that offers medical treatment to critically ill patients who require constant monitoring. Newborn infants who require this kind of care are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, a unit staffed by neonatologists and specially trained nurses....

By: Richard Martine Created 74 months ago

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