For parents of premature babies, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be intimidating. The sight of all the equipment used to care for the newborns can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, the more you know about the equipment, the less intimidating it seems. To help alleviate some of your anxiety, here is some of the equipment you might see and how it can be used to help your baby.
Even though your baby is able to breathe on their own, a little assistance might be needed. Your baby’s medical care providers will use a bubble CPAP to help deliver air to their lungs.
The bubble CPAP consists of a source of oxygen and compressed air, tubing, and nasal prongs. Although it might seem complicated, it is one of the more simplistic methods of delivering air to your baby.
The CPAP is often used in conjunction with a pulse oximeter. The oximeter’s job is to measure the oxygen in your baby’s blood. The oximeter is a small device that is secured to your baby’s hand or foot.
It is not uncommon for premature babies to suffer from jaundice. It means your baby is not quite ready to excrete bilirubin on his or her own. Bilirubin can pass to the brain and cause damage, so your child’s medical care provider will treat him or her with phototherapy to prevent this from occurring.
Your child will be place on a special blanket while blue fluorescent lights is placed over the incubator. The light does not harm your child. Depending on the severity of your baby’s jaundice, it can take a few days before the condition is cured.
One of the most difficult tools that medical care providers use that is particularly hard for parents to see used for their baby is the umbilical catheter. The catheter is a plastic tube that is placed in your baby’s umbilical cord. The cord is inserted through the umbilical vein or artery.
Even though the umbilical catheter might appear painful, it is not. In actuality, it helps your child to avoid discomfort. Instead of sticking your baby with a needle each time his or her blood is drawn, samples are collected through the catheter. Your child can also receive medication and IV fluids with the help of the catheter.
Talk to your child’s medical team about any other equipment that concerns you. They can explain the use and help to alleviate your fears. To learn more about these machines, contact services like B and B Medical Technologies.