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The Nicu units can be a confusing place with the doctors using various terminology terms to determine the condition of your baby.

Here is a look at some of them you may or may not come across as your baby get specialist treatment.

Anemia
Your baby has a lower than normal amount of red blood cells in the body.

Apnea
Babies normally breathe very fast for a few seconds, then pause, and then breathe slowly. True apnea is when there is a pause in breathing of longer than 20 seconds.  Apnea may cause changes in heart rate and a baby's skin color.

Asphyxia
When the baby's body does not get enough oxygen.

Birth defects
Baby has Abnormalities seen at birth or are hidden inside the body and are called birth defects.

Bradycardia
Baby has  a temporary slowing of the heart rate. It sometimes occurs with apnea. In most babies, the heart beats between 120-160 beats/minute. With bradycardia, the heart may slow down 60-80 beats/minute. Gentle touching of the baby is usually enough to raise the heart rate.

Central line (CVL)
bbay has an intravenous line surgically placed in a large vein.

Cerebral palsy
At Birth or prior to birth baby can have damage to the brain that can causes abnormal movement or posture.

Chronic lung disease
Chronic lung disease is seen in premature babies who have been on the ventilator. When air sacs in the lungs are damaged and too little oxygen reaches the tissues, waste products and scar tissue can form. These changes in lung tissue can cause small areas of the lung to collapse (atlectasis), and other areas of the lung to trap air and over expand. All these changes in lung tissue lead to chronic lung disease.

Cleft lip and palate
Baby has an abnormal opening in the lip and roof of the mouth. These defects can cause feeding, dental, and speech problems.

Congenital heart defects
Baby may need surgery as a Congenital heart defect are an abnormal development of the heart or blood vessels near the heart.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Baby has the use of long or short prongs in the nose to deliver continuous pressure, that keeps the air sacs open in the baby’s lungs.

Desaturation
When there is, too little oxygen attached to red blood cells it results in too little oxygen in the tissues of the baby's body. A desaturation is usually less than 80; the number varies depending on the normal range for an individual baby. A machine called a pulse oximeter measures the oxygen level.

Diaphragmatic Hernia
baby has a  hole in the muscle, which separates the chest from the abdomen, allows the bowel to push up into the chest cavity. The bowel can press on the lungs and keep them from growing. This can interfere with the baby’s breathing and blood circulation.

Down syndrome
Babies with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome, which affects the development of the body. It also interferes with mental development and may affect the development of the heart or bowel.

Duodenal Atresia
Is a blockage of the upper portion of the small bowel that can cause abdominal swelling and vomiting.

Endotracheal tube ~ Baby needs to have an Endotracheal tube
A small tube inserted through the mouth or nose to the windpipe.

Gastroschisis
Gastroschisis is a defect in which the bowel, stomach, and liver, push through an opening in the wall of the abdomen.

Hydrocephalus
The baby’s head can become larger when the circulation of fluid produced by the brain is blocked or there is delayed reabsorption of the fluid. As the fluid backs up, it pushes on surrounding brain tissue. This condition is hydrocephalus.

Infection
Bacteria, viruses, and fungus cause most infections in babies. Babies are at a greater risk for developing infection because of their immature defense system. They cannot easily fight off the organisms that can cause infection.

Intraventricular hemorrhage
Bleeding in the brain may occur within the first four days of life. This bleeding is assigned a grade from one to four based on the amount and location of bleeding and the swelling or enlargement of brain structures. Premature babies are especially at risk for this kind of bleeding because of the fragile blood vessel network in their brain.

Isolation
Isolation is used to prevent the spread of infection. Each person who comes to care for or visit an infant who has a contagious infection will wear gloves and gowns to prevent the spread of infection. The use of gloves and gowns protect other infants, who have weakened defense systems, from getting an infection.

Isolette
An isolette is an incubator for premature babies.

Jaundice
The body breaks down used red blood cells and a substance called bilirubin is released. As the bilirubin leaves the bloodstream, it can collect in the fat layer of the skin causing a yellow color. This yellow color is jaundice. When the bilirubin level is higher than normal, it is hyperbilirubinemia.

 
Kangaroo care
Kangaroo care (Skin to Skin)
Kangaroo care allows you to hold your baby, dressed only in a diaper, against your bare chest. Kangaroo care promotes bonding, growth, breastfeeding, and increased milk supply.

Meconium aspiration syndrome
Meconium is the dark green substance produced in the baby’s bowels. Sometimes this substance passes as a bowel movement into the fluid surrounding the baby while they are still inside the mother and may be inhaled into their lungs. This can irritate lung tissues and block smaller airways in the lungs making it very difficult for the baby to breathe.

Minimal stimulation
Some infants are not able to tolerate any stimulation such as handling, loud noises, bright lights, etc. These infants are placed on a Minimal Stimulation Protocol, which helps to limit unnecessary stimulation.

Multipurpose room
Rooms used for parents to spend the night and learn to care for the infant when they are close to discharge, for protective isolation, dialysis and other uses.

Myelomeningocele
This is a type of spinal bifida where the spinal column does not close completely. This leaves a gap in the bony parts of the spine. The covering of the spinal cord can push out through the gap in the bony parts of the spine. The baby may have some loss of feeling and have paralyzed lower limbs. They may also have loss of bowel and bladder control depending on the level of the defect.

 
Nasal cannula prongs 
Nasal cannula
Are short prongs that deliver oxygen through the baby’s nose.

Necrotizing enterocolitis
Is a problem that can occur in the baby’s intestines. Early signs may show up as feeding problems, abdominal swelling, increase in feeding residuals (milk left in the stomach between feedings), presence of green colored liquid in the stomach (bile), vomiting, and blood in the stools, less energy, apnea, bradycardia, and problems maintaining normal temperature.

NPO
NPO means that baby cannot take any liquid or food into its mouth. Most babies are NPO when admitted to the NICU. Premature or sick babies may have trouble digesting their milk and may be placed NPO to give their system time to rest or heal.

OG/NG tube
A tube placed in the mouth or nose that goes into the stomach. The tube is used for feeding or removing air or contents from the stomach.

Omphalocele
This occurs when some of the contents of the abdomen (usually bowel) pushes out into the bottom part of the umbilical cord. A sac made by the body usually covers the abdominal contents.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
A PDA is a structure of the heart that normally begins to close soon after birth. In some premature newborn infants, the PDA stays opens or reopens. This opening will allow too much blood to flow from a big vessel (aorta) to the lungs. This may put a strain on the baby’s heart, which could lead to heart failure. It can also cause fluid to leak into the tissues of the lung increasing the work an infant must do to breathe.

Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)
An intravenous line placed in a large arm, leg, or scalp vein to provide a way for the infant to receive fluids and medications.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
Can occur when multiple factors interact to produce high blood pressure in the arteries, which supply blood to the lungs. This forces blood away from the lungs and decreases the supply of oxygen to the body.

Peripheral intravenous line (PIV)
An intravenous (IV) line placed in a small vein in the arm, hand, leg, foot, or scalp to provide a way for the infant to get nutrition or medication.

Post-term newborn
A baby who is born later than 42 weeks of gestation

Premature newborn
A baby who is born before 38 weeks of gestation

 
Pulse oximeter 
Pulse ox
The pulse ox is a way of monitoring the amount of oxygen reaching the body’s tissues through the baby’s skin.

Residuals
A residual is the amount of milk found in the stomach before it is time to give the next feeding. Nurses will check for residuals through a feeding tube before starting a new feeding. Premature babies may have a more difficult time tolerating their milk and will have more residuals as they begin to feed.

Respiratory distress syndrome
This common disorder of the lungs affects premature babies. Lack of a substance called surfactant causes the collapse of small air sacs in the lungs and makes it more difficult for the premature baby to breathe.

Retinopathy of prematurity
Is an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the developing eye that can lead to problems with vision or a loss of vision.

Room Air
Is the air that we normally breathe which contains 21% oxygen.

Seizures
When the electrical signals in the brain do not work properly, the infant may have seizures. Seizures are a sign of brain injury or irritation.

Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) or Hyperalimentation Fluid (HAF)
TPN or HAF are Intravenous fluids, which provides all nutrition including vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, and carbohydrates when the infant is not able to tolerate feeding or is only able to take some of their feedings.

 
NICU Warmer
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
An abnormal passage or connection between the windpipe (trachea) and the food pipe (esophagus).

Transient tachypnea of the newborn
Develops when there is a delay in the absorption of lung fluid after birth. The infant will breathe fast until the fluid clears from the lungs.

Umbilical line (arterial or venous)
The umbilical line is a way of providing nutrition and medication, as well as closely monitoring blood pressure. Blood samples are obtained painlessly using this line.

Ventilator
Bbay needs help fully to breathe,A machine that breathes for babies if they are unable to breathe on their own.

Warmer
A warmer is a bed, which “reads” infant temperature and adjusts the heat to keep the baby warm

 

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