Special Care Unit (Babies)
At SPCH the special care unit is setup to care for babies born prematurely or ill. A Special neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU), also known as an intensive care nursery (ICN), is an intensive-care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants, this unit becomes the centre of focus for parents of premature babies.Premature babies need extra help while their bodies catch up on the growth and development they missed in the uterus (womb). For example, it's harder for a baby to stay warm because he or she can’t regulate her own body temperature yet but a special cot (incubator) helps with this.
We at SPCH takes proper care of the patients at our unit and we educate parents of the babies.As the parent of a premature baby, over the coming days, weeks and possibly months you are likely to spend a lot of time in the baby unit (also called the neonatal unit). This will probably feel very strange at first, but as you become more familiar with the way the unit works and what all the equipment does. Your baby may need to be moved between units depending on what level of care he or she needs at a given point in time.
A baby must make many physical adjustments to life outside the mother's body. Leaving the uterus means that a baby can no longer depend on the mother's circulation and placenta for important physiologic functions. Before birth, breathing, eating, elimination of waste, and immunologic protection all came from the mother. When a baby enters the world, many body systems change dramatically from the way they functioned during fetal life:.
Premature babies also need extra monitoring, treatment and care. They are vulnerable and can have serious health problems. Some of the common problems associated with premature birth are: breathing problems, bleeding in the brain, heart conditions, gut and digestive disorders, eye problems, jaundice, anaemia infections.
Who will care for my baby in the unit?At the neonatal unit, a skilled team from different professions will care for your baby. Some of the people you may meet include:
Equipment in Use At The SCU
TYour premature baby will be supported by a lot of different devices. Most of them are involved in helping him breathe, receive nutrients and stay warm.
A see-through box on wheels which keeps your baby warm. It may be open, with an overhead heater or heated mattress, or closed, with a lid, to keep the air around your baby warm and humid.
2. Overhead heater
A heater for an open incubator to make sure your baby's temperature is correct.
These check your baby's breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acidity in his blood. They also alert staff if your baby has apnoea, in which the baby stops breathing for more than 10-20 seconds. This is quite common in premature babies.
4. Ambient oxygen analyser
This small appliance sits inside the incubator to make sure there is enough oxygen in the air.
5. Intravenous (IV) drip
Your baby can receive fluids, nutrients and medication through this narrow tube and needle. If your baby needs a drip for a long time, the team might insert a catheter (also called a PICC line or long line), which doesn't need to be changed so often.
6. Feeding pump and tubes
Flexible plastic tubes through which nutrients are passed. He might have one, or all, of the following: a nasogastric tube which goes through your baby's nose, an orogastic tube through his mouth and into his stomach, and a transpyloric tube which goes directly to his gut.
7 Power supply
The point from where the power comes to power the other machines. All hospitals have back-up power in case of a power cut.
8 ventilator monitor
A monitor on which all the ventilator settings are displayed.
Some babies will be put on a ventilator - a machine that blows air and oxygen through a tube into their nose or throat and into the lungs. A positive pressure ventilator delivers the air mixture in 'breaths' while an oscillatory or high-frequency ventilator delivers it through tiny vibrations.