This is a tube that goes from the baby’s mouth or nose into the baby’s windpipe (trachea). It is secured with tape and attached by tubing to a breathing machine (ventilator). It allows the machine to deliver air and oxygen directly to the baby’s lungs.
This is a machine that breathes for the baby or assists the baby’s own breaths. Air/oxygen is delivered to the lungs with an endotracheal tube and allows the air to escape after each breath. There are several types of ventilators—your doctor and/or nurse can explain to you the one that your baby requires.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
Oxygen or air is given to the baby by using a small amount of pressure, usually through little, tiny tubes that fit into the nostrils of the nose. Delivering oxygen under pressure helps keep the air sacs in the lungs open.
This machine provides a vacuum through a tube and is used to remove secretions from endotracheal tubes and the baby’s mouth. This is important since the airway must be kept clear for good air exchange.
Nitric Oxide is an inhalation medication that is sometimes needed to support an infant’s breathing. We have used this medication for years and are very proficient in its use.
Monitors continuously provide nurses and doctors with important information. For the most part, these monitors are painless and non-invasive (attached to the outside of the skin). Your baby will have contact with some, but probably not all, of the following equipment:
This is sometimes referred to as a Heart Monitor or C-R (cardio-respiratory) Monitor. Three adhesive patches with wires connected to them are placed on the baby’s chest, abdomen, arms, or legs. The wires are attached to a machine that displays the baby’s heart rate, heart beat pattern, breathing rate and breathing pattern.
The ‘pulse ox’ continuously measures the amount of oxygen in the baby’s blood. There is a tiny light which is attached to the baby’s palm, foot, finger, toe, or wrist by a piece of adhesive elastic. A cord connects 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 cardio-respiratory monitor or a separate machine.
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) inserted into one of the his/her arteries.
Other Medical Support
IV (Intravenous Infusion)
This is a needle or small tube that is placed into one of the veins of the infant. It is attached by tubing to a container of fluid. 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 Arterial Catheter (UAC) or Umbilical Venous Catheter (UVC)
This is a small piece of tubing threaded into the baby’s artery or vein in the umbilical stump (belly button). In addition to delivering fluids, medication, and nutrients, blood can be withdrawn painlessly for laboratory studies.
I-STAT Blood Gas Machine
We have been using this state of the art piece of equipment for several years. This hand-held device gives almost immediate blood work results.
Jaundice is common in newborns, due to an increase in bilirubin (a normal breakdown product of blood) in the body. To help remove bilirubin, babies are placed under special lights or lie on a special lighted pad. These are called “bili lights, “bili blankets”, or “lucey lights”. Eye patches are placed over the baby’s eyes to protect them from the lights. If your baby is receiving this treatment, the lights may be turned off briefly and the patches removed when you visit.
Babies are weighed daily. Smaller babies are weighed on a sling scale in the isolette in order to keep them in their warm environment. As they grow, they are weighed on a scale at the bedside.
The Brainz monitor is a bedside monitoring system that gives staff the ability to monitor brain function 24 hours per day. It displays real time and time compressed EEG readings.
Selective Total Body Cooling
Electively inducing hypothermia (decrease in body temperature) to reduce the incidence of death and disability in term and near term infants.