Basic points of the NICU

Multiple birth infants are at risk of being born premature, which may land them in the NICU.

The types of medical supplies used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are much different than those you would find in a traditional hospital setting. Simply put, this is because the premature infant patients doctors and nurses are working on require the use of smaller equipment in order to take care of things properly.

NICU inhabitants
Most of the babies who are taken to the NICU suffer from a serious medical condition. While a number of the patients enter the unit immediately following birth, some will remain for the first several months of their lives as they gain strength. Reasons a newborn may be taken to the NICU, according to Rush University Medical Center, include:1

  • low birth weight
  • heart problems and conditions
  • multiple birth infants
  • infections
  • gastrointestinal issues
  • breathing problems

Depending on a child's condition, he or she will likely be cared for in the NICU of the hospital he or she was born. However, in some serious cases, it is necessary to transfer the patient to another facility.

Breathing problems
One of the most common challenges premature infants in the NICU have is a breathing problem. There are a variety of issues that can cause the child's lungs to not have properly developed, which leads to difficulty breathing. Some full-term babies may also have breathing problems due to difficulties that occurred during labor in addition to infections and birth defects. Depending on the issue at hand, clinicians may choose to use medication, ventilation or both to treat the condition.2

Hospitals requiring NICU and infant care supplies can turn to Medex Supply, an online medical supply store, for all the necessities of bringing premature infants back to full health.

1 Rush University Medical Center, "Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)"
2 March of Dimes, "Common conditions treated in the NICU" August 2009

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