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Why do newborns go to NICU?

December 3, 2020

The birth of a baby is a very complex process which brings about various changes in the baby’s as well as the mother’s body. Before birth, all the major functions like eating, excretion, protection etc. of the baby are taken care of by the mother’s body. However, after birth, the baby’s systems must function independently. Many babies find the transition difficult and may require intensive care.

What is NICU?

A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), or an intensive care nursery (ICN), is an intensive care unit specializing in the treatment of ill or premature born infants. A NICU combines advanced technology and well-trained professionals to provide specialized treatment to the newborns. In a NICU, the baby is taken care of extensively by a team of experts specializing in the newborn care and is attended by neonatologists (doctors specializing in newborn intensive care), various specialists, pediatricians, dietitians, well-trained nurses etc.

The need for NICU:

As already mentioned, birth is a critical process and there are various factors which can lead to complications in the health of the baby at the time of birth. To deal with such conditions, the baby is monitored in NICU. Some common reasons why babies are admitted in NICU are:

  • Premature delivery:

premature babies are those who are born well before the calculated due date (or before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Premature delivery is the most common cause because of which babies go to NICU. Quite often premature babies are not as well developed as full-term babies and are unable to cope up with the outside environment. Preterm babies are often unable to control body temperature, suffer excessive weight loss and other similar problems. Thus, preterm babies are kept in an isolate or incubator in a NICU unit, which provides a stable environment for the growth of the babies.

  • Infection:

sepsis or infection is one of the major causes of neonatal deaths. Preterm babies are at a higher risk of infections as compared to full-term babies. These babies are often unable to fight off infections on their own and hence are admitted in NICU for specialized treatment.

  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS):

RDS is the most common respiratory problem in infants because of immature or underdeveloped lungs. Newborns with RDS are treated in NICU as advanced facilities like ventilators are available. Ventilators are equipped with an endotracheal tube that helps the baby breathe or breathes for the baby by pumping in warm air and oxygen to the lungs.

  • Hypoglycemia:

NICU is also required for newborns with low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). This is common in premature infants, infants with infection, or an infant born to a mother with gestational diabetes.

  • Maternal chorioamnionitis:

it is the inflammation and infection of the placenta or umbilical cord or both which occurs before or during the labor. This actually affects the mother and leads to a very high fever, increased heart rate etc. But it also puts the baby at a very high risk of infection and hence, the baby is immediately admitted to a NICU and given antibiotics.

  • Other:

there are various other conditions like low birth weight, traumatic delivery, need for special treatment like blood transfusion, etc. which may require the baby to go to NICU.

When it comes to NICU, we at Cloud nine have the most advanced equipment and experienced doctors ready to take on the most complicated and critical cases. Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is certified by the National Neonatology Forum as Level III, which is the highest level of intensive care. We possess the latest equipment like GE Giraffe incubators, and all other facilities required for babies including ventilation, HFOV, nitric oxide etc.

We also have a specially specially-trained nursing team headed by a nurse manager. Cloud nine's dedicated team constantly works to provide the baby with the best possible treatment and care.

Must read - Which newborns need neonatal care?

Want to consult the Best Pediatricians in India? Please find the links below.

  1. ‍Best Pediatricians in Bangalore
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  4. Top Children’s Specialist near me in Pune
  5. Best Child Specialist doctor in Chandigarh
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  7. Best Pediatrician doctors in Noida

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