Neonatal Care Unit
The process of giving birth to a baby is a complex and wonderful experience that brings about many physical and emotional changes for both the mother and the baby. As the baby exits the mother’s uterus, it must adapt to life outside the womb and can no longer rely on the mother’s blood supply and placenta for vital bodily functions such as breathing, eating, waste elimination, and immunity. The baby’s body systems, including the lungs, heart and circulatory system, digestive system, kidneys, liver and immune system, must begin functioning independently and in coordination with each other. However, certain factors like premature birth, difficult birth or birth defects can make this transition more challenging, but with proper care and support, newborns can make the transition successfully.
Newborn infants who require extensive medical attention are often placed in a specialized area of SRV Hospitals known as the neonatal care unit (NCU). The NCU at SRV Hospitals, is equipped with advanced technology and staffed with trained healthcare professionals who are able to provide specialized care for the youngest patients. Babies who require intensive care typically have better outcomes when they are born in a hospital with a NCU like SRV Hospitals, rather than being transferred after birth.
Some newborn babies will require care in the NCU, which can be an unexpected and overwhelming experience for parents. This information is provided to help you understand why your baby may need to be in the NCU and to inform you about some of the procedures that may be necessary for your baby’s care.
At SRV Hospitals, the Neonatal Care Unit is a combination of advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals providing the best care to our neonates and infants
A neonatal care unit (NCU) is a specialized unit in a hospital that provides medical care for premature or critically ill newborn infants. Some of the conditions that may require treatment in a neonatal care unit include:
Infants born prematurely, before 37 weeks of gestation, may require specialized care in a neonatal care unit. Premature infants may have underdeveloped organs and require support for breathing, feeding, and maintaining body temperature.
Infants with respiratory distress syndrome may require support for breathing, such as oxygen therapy, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), or mechanical ventilation.
Infants with infections, such as sepsis or meningitis, may require antibiotics and other treatments to prevent further complications.
Infants with birth defects, such as heart defects or neural tube defects, may require specialized care in a neonatal care unit.
Infants with neurological conditions, such as seizures or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, may require specialized care and monitoring in a neonatal care unit.
Infants with jaundice, a common condition in newborns, may require phototherapy or other treatments to prevent complications.
Infants with metabolic disorders, such as phenylketonuria or galactosemia, may require specialized care and monitoring in a neonatal care unit.
At a neonatal care unit, healthcare providers may use a variety of diagnostic tests and imaging studies to evaluate and monitor the health of premature or critically ill infants. Treatment options may include medications, specialized equipment for breathing or feeding, and other therapies to support the infant’s growth and development. The neonatal care unit also provides education and support for families to help manage the emotional and practical aspects of caring for a critically ill infant.
Why do some babies need special care?
There are several factors that can place a baby at high risk for admission to the NCU. These include maternal factors, delivery factors, and baby factors.
Maternal factors include
Delivery factors include
Baby factors include
Treatments at SRV Hospitals Neonatal Care Unit
Respiratory support: This includes providing oxygen, assisted ventilation, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to help babies breathe.
Feeding support: This includes tube feeding and intravenous (IV) nutrition for babies who are unable to feed by mouth.
Monitoring and observation: This includes monitoring vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and temperature.
Medications: This includes antibiotics to treat infections and medications to regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
Phototherapy: This is used to treat jaundice, a common condition in newborns that causes yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Blood transfusions: This is used to treat anemia or low platelet count in newborns.
Surgeries: This includes surgeries to correct birth defects or other conditions such as cleft lip and palate.
Kangaroo care: This is a technique where the baby is placed on the parent’s bare chest for skin-to-skin contact, which can improve the baby’s physiological stability and promote bonding.
Developmental care: This includes a range of non-invasive interventions and practices that are tailored to the individual baby’s needs and are intended to minimize stress, promote growth and development, and support the family.
Therapies: This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy for babies with developmental delays or other conditions.
Follow-up care: After the baby is discharged from the NCU, follow-up care is provided to ensure the baby’s ongoing health and development.
There are many specially-trained healthcare providers that may care for your baby, such as neonatologists, neonatal fellows, paediatric residents, neonatal nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dietitians, lactation consultants and pharmacists.
Yes, parents are typically allowed to visit their baby in the NCU and are encouraged to do so. Visiting hours and restrictions may vary depending on the hospital and the baby’s condition.
SRV Hospitals Neonatal Care Unit offers the following facilities:
- Open care radiant warmers
- Transport incubator
- Phototherapy units: Single surface, double surface
- Pulse oximeters (Masimo Technology)
- Non-invasive blood pressure monitors (NIBP)
- Invasive pressure monitoring devices
- Multimodal monitors
- 100 MA portable X-ray machine
- Conventional ventilation
- High-frequency ventilation
- Exchange transfusion