A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a specialised unit for care of ill or premature newborn infant needs intensive care. NICU at Sanjeevini Hospital combines advanced technology and skilled health care professionals to provide specialized care for babies. NICUs may also specialised areas for babies who are not as sick but do need specialized nursing care. In NICU newborn will stay for days, weeks, or possibly longer, depending on the baby’s degree of prematurity and severity of illness.
When babies need NICU admission, it can be an overwhelming experience. Very next moment, the excitement and happiness about the birth of your new baby can change to fear and anxiety. You may feel angry or nervous or find yourself questioning whether anything is really wrong with your baby. Even though all of these emotions are normal, knowing what to expect can help to overcome some of the fear and balance the emotions.
Different Level of NICU
- A Level 1 NICU or Level 1 Nursery is defined by two different sources as follows: Level 1 nurseries care for healthy, full-term babies. They are able to stabilize babies born near term to get them ready to transfer to facilities that offer special care.”
- Level 2, or specialty care nurseries, in addition to providing basic care, can provide care to infants who are moderately ill with problems that are expected to resolve rapidly or who are recovering from serious illness treated in a level 3 (subspecialty) NICU.
- The Level 3 NICU, is a neonatal intensive care unit that is capable of caring for very small or very sick newborn babies. Level 3 NICUs have a wide variety of staff on site, including neonatologists, neonatal nurses, and respiratory therapists who are available 24 hours a day.
- Baby’s condition requiring special care is premature or critically ill, NICU is the right place for the baby care.
Which Babies Need Special NICU Care?
Most babies admitted to the NICU are premature (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy), have low birth weight (less than 2500 gm), or have a medical condition that requires special care. Twins, triplets, and other multiples often are admitted to the NICU, as they tend to be born earlier and smaller than single birth babies.
The following are some factors that can place a baby at high risk and increases the chances of being admitted to the NICU. However, each baby must be evaluated individually to determine the need for admission.
High Risk Factors Include the FollowingMaternal Factors:
- Age younger than 16 or older than 40 years
- Drug or alcohol exposure
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Multiple Pregnancy (Twins, Triplets, or More)Delivery Factors:
- Foetal distress/birth asphyxia (changes in organ systems due to lack of oxygen)
- Breech delivery presentation (buttocks delivered first) or other abnormal presentation
- Meconium stained amniotic fluid / meconium aspiration
- Nuchal cord (cord around the baby’s neck)
Forceps or Caesarean Delivery Baby Factors
- Pre or post term deliveries (less than 37 weeks or more than 42 weeks)
- Birth weight less than 2,500 grams or over 4,000 grams
- Small for gestational age
- Medication or resuscitation in the delivery room
- Birth defects
- Respiratory distress including rapid breathing, grunting, or apnea (stopping breathing)
- Infection such as herpes, group B streptococcus, Chlamydia
- Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
- Need for extra oxygen or monitoring, intravenous (IV) therapy, or medications.
- Requiring blood transfusion