The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is specialized in newborn babies requiring intensive medical care. The unit is equipped with advanced facilities and experienced and trained healthcare staff for round-the-clock monitoring of critically ill and preterm babies. Some newborns have problems in breathing, while others may have severe anemia that requires a blood transfusion. The team at the NICU comprises neonatologists, respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and dietitians.
The length of stay may range from several hours to weeks, depending upon the severity of the illness or level of premature birth. The stay is longer if the baby is more prematurely born or suffers from a severe illness. The baby is discharged from the NICU once he meets the discharge criteria, i.e., independent breathing, regulated body temperature, is fed by bottle or breast, and is gaining weight.
The common conditions due to which the newborn may be admitted to NICU are:
Some of the tips for parents to cope with the NICU are: