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My wife has just delivered our baby son at 30 weeks I want to come back for more information can I find surgical procedure answers here if the nicu staff are thinking of doing any on my baby?
Yes  an A -Z of the care, medical procedures and staff involved with or associated with nicu and scbu for premature,sick newborns and tiny babies.All you will need to do is look under the first initial to find the need to know answers quickly and easily

Albumen — The protein portion of blood serum. Given to increase blood volume in infants who have lost blood.

Albuterol — A drug used to relax and open up airways in babies with respiratory difficulty.

Amikacin — An antibiotic.

Aminophylline — Intravenous drug that stimulates the breathing center of the brain; used to treat apnea of prematurity.

Ampicillin — A common broad-spectrum antibiotic often used in the NICU; from the penicillin family of drugs.

Apgar Score — An assessment of a newborn’s status — respiration, pulse, color, muscle tone and reflexes, with each category receiving 0, 1 or 2 points, creating an Apgar range of 0 to 10 scale. This is done at birth, at age five minutes, and then at five minute intervals until the infant is medically stable. A normal newborn will score 7 or higher. From 4 to 6 indicates a need for assistance and 3 or below requires full resuscitation. Preemies are expected to score lower than full-term infants. Although Apgar is used as an acronym, as in the chart below, it is actually named for the pioneering pediatrician who invented this assessment tool, Dr. Virginia Apgar. Apgar scoring is universally performed at births in the United States and many other countries, but it is notoriously subjective (the running joke is that no baby ever gets a ten, except for the children of obstetricians and neonatologists, who do the scoring) and other more precise methods of assessing a newborn’s condition are being developed.

attending physician — The neonatologist who assumes primary responsibility for an infant’s medical care. In the Miller Children’s NICU depicted in BABY E.R., the NICU is run by six attending physicians, each of whom assumes responsibility for a different room full of patients in the unit, on a weekly rotation.

audiologist — A person trained in the assessment of hearing and hearing loss and able to determine the cause and degree of loss. The Audiologist is not a physician.

Apnea — Pauses in breathing of twenty seconds or longer, or any length of time if accompanied by cyanosis or bradycardia. Monitors in the NICU measure the respiration rate and sound alarms during spells of apnea. Infants with chronic cases may be discharged home with apnea monitors.

Asphyxia — Lack of oxygen in the blood and body, with an accumulation of carbon dioxide and acid in the blood stream. If prolonged, causes brain damage, organ damage and death.

Atelectasis — The collapse of pockets of air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. Interferes with the ability of the lungs to oxygenate the blood.

Atrial septal defect — A defect in the heart in which a hole passing through the septum (a wall of tissue) that separates the two atria — the upper chambers of the heart.


Bagging — Also called hand-bagging. The use of an oxygen bag and face mask (or breathing tube), usually by a respiratory therapist, to pump air into the lungs by hand, usually immediately after birth in cases of respiratory distress, as a prelude to mechanical ventilation, when a baby with breathing difficulties is being moved from one location to another in the NICU or elsewhere in the hospital, or during respiratory crises.

Bradycardia — A significant slowing of the heart below the normal minimum rate for newborns of one hundred beats per minute.

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) — A scarring of the lung tissue most often caused by prolonged use of mechanical ventilators.


case manager — A hospital employee and patient advocate who monitors the course of a baby’s stay in the NICU, assisting families with insurance claims, HMO approvals, transfers to other facilities and discharge plans.

chaplain — A pastor, priest, minister, nun or rabbi who is available to families to help provide spiritual assistance.

Cerebral Palsy — A condition in which movement and posture is abnormal because of brain damage before, during or after birth. Can be associated with oxygen deprivation, though the cause is often unknown.

Cleft palate — A birth defect that causes an opening in the roof of the mouth, connecting the oral and nasal cavities.

Coarctation of the aorta — A defect in which the main artery from the heart to the body (the aorta) is narrowed.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) — A common virus that often attacks those with poor immune systems, such as AIDS patients and preemies.


Caffeine — Used to stimulate the breathing center of the infant brain; used to treat apnea of prematurity.

Canula (nasal) — Pronged plastic tubing that fits inside an infant’s nose and delivers oxygen-enriched air.

Catheter, umbilical (arterial or venous) — A tube inserted into vessels in the umbilical cord to deliver fluids and medication or to remove blood for testing; the venous line can be used to monitor blood pressure as well.

Central Line (Central Venous Line) — An intravenous line placed into a vein and fed through until its end lies just outside the heart.

Cefotaxime Sodium — Powerful antibiotic used to combat sepsis.

Colostomy — A surgical opening through which stool can be drained from the large intestine. Often used as a temporary measure to promote healing following bowel surgery or repair. When the drain is attached to the small intestine, the procedure is called an ileostomy.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) — A lab test that measures red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Often the first indicator of possible infection

CPAP — Continued Positive Airway Pressure, a type of respiratory assistance that keeps the lungs air sacs open during and after each breath. Can be delivered through tubes in the nose, or through a breathing tube placed in the trachea, as with mechanical ventilation. Sometimes used as a midstep between a nasal canula and mechanical ventilation.

Cryotherapy — Also called cryosurgery. Uses liquid nitrogen to freeze damaged tissue. Particularly useful for treating the eye disease Retinopathy of Prematurity.

Culture — A lab test which detects infectious organisms in the body by placing blood samples in a special dish and monitoring them for twenty-four to seventy-two hours.

Desaturation (desats) — Term for too little oxygen in the bloodstream. Treated with higher percentages of oxygen via nasal canula or mechanical ventilation.

Down Syndrome — Also called Trisomy 21, a birth defect that is manifested by an extra 21st chromosome, and is associated with impaired development and a variety of physical symptoms.


Dexamethasone (Decadron) — A steroid that can improve lung function in some infants with respiratory distress.

Dobutamine and Dopamine — Drugs used to raise low blood pressure and low urine output.

Doxapram — A drug used to treat apnea of prematurity that does not respond to a more commonly prescribed drug, theophylline.

Echocardiogram — An ultrasound image of the heart. Often called a "heart echo."

echocardiogram technician (heart ultrasound) — A technician skilled in taking and interpreting ultrasound images of the heart.


ECMO (Extracorporeal oxygenation) — The use of a modified heart-lung bypass machine to provide oxygen to a baby’s blood. A radical procedure with many side effects, it is generally used only as last resort, when mechanical ventilation and other treatments have failed.

Electrolytes (’lytes) — Basic elements in the blood that must be maintained in proper balance, and that include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. Levels of these elements are monitored by frequent blood tests in the NICU — the test is also generically referred to simply as “Electrolytes” or “’lytes.” By using these test results, levels of these elements are kept in balance by providing one or more of them through intravenous solutions.

Epinephrine — A powerful heart stimulant; often used to treat cardiac failure and low blood pressure.

Extubation and intubation — Intubation is the placement of a breathing tube (referred to in the NICU as an ET tube or entotracheal tube) into the windpipe, usually as a prelude to mechanical ventilation. Extubation is the removal of that tube.

 Edema — Accumulation of fluid in the body, marked by visibly swelling. Usually a symptom of other ailments.


Cerebral Palsy — A condition in which movement and posture is abnormal because of brain damage before, during or after birth. Can be associated with oxygen deprivation, though the cause is often unknown.

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