Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Room
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What you can expect to see when entering the NICU
As you enter the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s, you may encounter machines and equipment that are unfamiliar to you. This section is focused on introducing you to the tools necessary for the care of your baby. Many of these terms may be new to you.
Our goal is to help you understand by explaining the more common terms used in our NICU.
Your baby's bed
There are many different types of beds that your baby may be in. They include:
- Radiant warmer – an open bed that provides easy access to your baby for the initial moments of care, measures temperature and keeps the baby warm
- Isolette – a closed incubator that reduces sound and keeps the baby warm while he/her are growing
- Bassinet/crib – where your baby will sleep after he/she has grown and is able to maintain body temperature
Monitoring your baby
- Cardiac apnea monitor – measures your baby’s heart rate and respiratory rate through small wires that are placed on your baby’s chest.
- Pulse oximetry monitor (pulse ox) – tells how much oxygen is in your baby’s blood. It is placed on your baby with a velcro strip.
Tubes you may see
Breathing tube – a tube into the baby’s trachea (windpipe) to allow air to reach the lungs and help him breathe.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – Plastic prongs with large tubing placed in the baby’s nose to help him breathe.
- Halo – a plastic dome placed over the baby’s head to deliver oxygen.
- Nasal cannula – small plastic prongs that sit in the nose of the infant delivering oxygen.
- Intravenous lines (IV) – small tubes used to deliver nutrition and medications into the bloodstream of your baby. Because babies’ veins are small and fragile, your baby may require multiple IVs in varying locations of his body while he is in the NICU.
- Feeding tubes – this placed in your baby’s nose or mouth and deliver nutrition to his stomach.