Equipment in the NICU
Radiant Warmer: a bed with a heating element over it that keeps the baby warm. A temperature probe placed on the baby's skin turns the heater up or down, according to the baby's temperature.
Incubator or Isolette: a small bed enclosed in plastic for newborns. It keeps the baby's body warm and at an even temperature.
Cardiorespiratory Monitor: sometimes referred to as a heart monitor or a C-R Monitor. Three adhesive patches with wires connected to them are placed on the baby's chest, abdomen, arms or legs. The wires travel to a machine that displays the baby's heart rate, heart beat pattern, breathing rate and breathing pattern.
Oxygen Hood and/or Nasal Canula: if your baby needs oxygen, but can breathe on his own, an oxygen hood may be placed over his head or a nasal canula may be placed into his nose. Oxygen is delivered through the tubing to the baby.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure): pressurized air, sometimes with additional oxygen is delivered to the baby's lungs through little tubes that fit into the nostrils. Delivering oxygen under pressure helps to keep the air sacs in the lungs open as the baby inhales and exhales.
Feeding Tube: also called a gavage (gah-vag') tube, is a small, flexible tube that is passed into your baby's nose or mouth to the stomach. The tubing carries breast milk or formula into the stomach until the newborn is ready to suck from the breast or a bottle. The tube may also be used at non-feeding times to remove air from the stomach. Other names for the tube are OG and NG tube.
Endotrachael Tube: also known as an ET tube, it goes from the baby's mouth or nose into the windpipe. It is secured with tape and attaches by thin, plastic tubing to a breathing machine. It allows the machine to deliver air and oxygen directly to the baby's lungs.
Phototherapy Lights: special lights that help to decrease bilirubin levels. Increased bilirubin levels cause the condition known as jaundice. The baby's clothes are removed so he or she will get the most light, and the lights are kept on most of the time. The baby is placed in a warmed isolette. His or her eyes are covered with a mask for protection.
Bili-blanket: special lights in a blanket that help decrease bilirubin levels. The baby may wear a t-shirt or blanket on top of the bili-blanket as long as the blanket has direct contact with his or her skin. The baby's eyes may be covered with patches for protection from the bright light.
Respirator or Ventilator: a machine that assists breathing and delivers oxygen under pressure to the infant as needed through either an ET tube or nasal prongs.
Pulse Oximeter: referred to as the "pulse ox" - or the "O2 Sat" continuously measures the baby's blood oxygen. There is a tiny light which is attached to the baby's palm, foot, finger, or wrist by a piece of adhesive elastic. A cord travels from the light to a machine that displays the amount of oxygen being carried by red blood cells in the baby's body. This may be part of the cardiorespiratory monitor or a separate monitor.
Blood Pressure Monitor: Blood pressure may be measured periodically by a small cuff placed around the baby's arm or leg, or may be measured continuously if the baby has a catheter (tiny tube) placed into one of his or her arteries.
Temperature Probe: a coated wire placed on the baby's skin and covered with an adhesive patch. The coated wire measures the baby's temperature. This information is used to help regulate the amount of heat from the overhead heater or isolette.
IV (Intravenous Infusion): a catheter, or small tube, placed into one of the baby's veins. It is attached by tubing to a container of fluid, which is placed on a pump that delivers specific amounts each hour. It is used to deliver fluids, medications and nutrients to the baby. Common sites for IV s are hands, feet, arms, legs, and scalp.
Umbilical Artery Catheter (UAC) or Umbilical Venous Catheter (UVC): - a catheter or tube threaded into the baby's artery or vein in the umbilical stump. It allows for the delivery of fluids, medication and nutrients. Blood can be withdrawn painlessly for laboratory studies, and blood pressure can be very accurately monitored.