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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Autor:   •  November 7, 2012  •  Essay  •  545 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,317 Views

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NICU is the abbreviation for neonatal intensive care unit, which specializes in the care of the sick or premature newborns.

Interventions for care of these newborns date back as far as the 17th century. Hospitals started grouping these babies together in the hospital in 1922, and now it is called the NICU. The incubator was developed in the mid nineteenth century based on incubators used for chicken eggs. Dr. Stephanie Tarnier developed the first incubator (known as an isolette) in Paris to keep premature infants warm. Due to the falling birth rate in France, physicians started using the isolettes soon thereafter. The first official NICU, worldwide, was established in 1961 when a ventilator was used for a baby with breathing difficulties.

Nurses that work in the NICU must be RNs and must have a certificate in Neonatal Resuscitation.

NICU concentrate on treating very small, premature, or congenitally ill babies. Some babies are from multiple births, but most are from babies that are born too early. Parents are encouraged to participate with care in the NICU. Gowns and masks are routinely worn and parents are taught to cuddle and have skin to skin contact with the baby (called Kangaroo care) which has been proven beneficial for all except the most frailest babies because this tends to exhaust the baby from handling and stimulation. Even sensors are used on these babies to measure SpO2 instead of continuously taking blood samples.

Complications for babies in the NICU are breathing difficulties, intraventricular hemorrhaging, necrotizing entercolitis, and infection. A high proportion of babies saved in the NICU grow up with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.

Equipment used in the NICU is an incubator or isolette. The incubator can supply oxygen by a hood or nasal cannula, provide CPAP or


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