If you are a parent, you probably know about NICUs. But if you are new to parenthood and facing challenges in childbirth, this blog is just for you. A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU facility is a hospital offering intensive care to premature and sick newborn babies.
Such units have specialist nurses, doctors, equipment, and professionals to look after babies in consideration.
Once the premature or sick babies get in better condition and do not need the specialist equipment, treatment, or care of the NICU anymore, the team moves them to the special care nursery.
What Does NICU Look Like?
It can be quite overwhelming to enter a NICU facility for the first time. There are lots of taps and antibacterial hand gel dispensers in the entry. Every person must wash their hands and sterilize them with soap for a few minutes before entering. The reason is simple – babies in a NICU facility are vulnerable to infections. Hence, careful hand-cleaning is required to avoid such risks.
The Environment Inside A NICU Facility
There are times in the NICU facility when it’s completely quiet and the lights are dimmed. It is done to keep babies calm as they can be easily overwhelmed by noise and bright light. Most babies inside a NICU facility either have a covered incubator or a heated open cot. This is done to manage their body temperature and stabilize it.
Based on the medical support that babies may need in the NICU, there can be:
● Equipment to inject only fixed amounts of medicines and fluids into the babies’ veins through tubes.
● Monitors attached to the babies through cords to monitor breathing, heart rate, and the amount of oxygen supplied to their blood.
● Ventilators to support breathing.
● Particular cooling beds to mitigate brain injury/damage in babies who underwent a difficult or risky birth.
All these equipment and technologies help keep babies comfortable and in good health while ensuring as minimum handling as possible.
NICU facilities may introduce large machines as and when needed. Such equipment may include:
● Ultrasound and X-rays.
● Monitor for brain function and activity.
● Machines for treating babies under phototherapy, lights, or jaundice.
The environment of the NICU is normally calm and quiet. There are dedicated doctors and nurses quietly taking care of the admitted babies and other experts coming in and out. The monitors attached to each baby trigger the alarm to alert the care unit in case a baby’s heart rate or breathing falls out of the normal range.
If you are also seeking help with a premature baby, a NICU facility can help you prepare for the premature birth.
The Staff At NICU
All NICUs have a team of neonatologists to look after premature birth cases. The experts specialize in newborn care, also termed neonatal care. Neonatologists are essentially paediatricians who pursue further studies in the childcare industry and get years of training.
The majority of NICUs have multiple neonatologists and one is in charge of the entire unit. You will always find a neonatologist working to make sure there’s no delay during an emergency. Some even motivate parents to be around and interact more.
Every baby in a NICU has an individual nurse by their bedside for complete care. These nurses are highly-skilled and have done extensive study in nursing newborn (premature) babies, apart from a nursing degree.
You can consult the baby’s nurse to keep a track of their health and progress. They know about the latest test results, changes in your baby’s care regimen, and your baby’s health over the recent hours.
Other experts such as X-ray team laboratory technicians, and echocardiograms visit the NICU facility regularly. Then doctors such as neurologists, cardiologists, surgeons, and ophthalmologists may also visit babies based on their medical needs.
Some NICUs additionally have more visiting staff. These are occupational therapists, psychologists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and pastoral workers to help both the parents and the babies. The staff can talk with you and help you with some of the challenges of having a baby in the NICU – for example, worry and anxiety, family complications, or concerns about your baby’s development.
NICUs are a lifesaver for parents with premature childbirth. If you are looking for reliable and experienced NICUs in Bangalore, your search ends at Kinder Hospitals. The staff here is committed to empowering the health and wellness of its patients regardless of their gender and age. If you live nearby Bangalore, you can still visit the NICU unit at Kinder Hospitals for child care and maternity support.