NICU: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
First thing to understand is there are several different levels of NICU’s, ranging from Level I all the way up to a Level IV. Level IV NICUs provide the highest level, most acute care.
A simple way to look at NICU Levels:
think well baby nursery with some oxygen just in case
Babies born at 32 weeks gestation or later.
Babies born at 28 weeks gestation or later with a birth weight of more than 1000 grams.
Babies born 23 weeks gestation or later requiring the most acute care.
Babies are measured in grams & centimeters (not ounces or inches)
Food & Medications:
Breast Milk or Formula as well as all medications are most often measured in milliliters or mLs.
Oxygen support is very common in the NICU. Intubation, CPAP, high-flow nasal cannula, and low-flow nasal cannula are all ways that babies are supported in breathing in the NICU.
Gestation & Age:
Gestational Age is determined by the length of time in weeks from conception to birth. In the NICU days and weeks are added to this until baby is considered to be 40 weeks. Gestational Age is often used to plan babies care and assess milestones.