What is Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – NICU

What is Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - NICU

Neonatal intensive care unit ( NICU ) is a specialist unit within the hospital for babies who needs intensive medical care. This is normally babies born within the age of 0 – 28days.  Neonatal intensive care units are normally equipped with advanced technologies and specialist healthcare professionals to attend to these babies.

No parent wants to go through other issues immediately after childbirth. It’s the expectation of the parents to see their child well and go home quietly after birth. But this is not always the case in many instances as several reasons could lead to not just delay in discharge of mother and child, but also the child ending up in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Some of these reasons include but not limited to

  • Prematurity
  • Sepsis or infection
  • Respiratory Distress syndrome
  • Perinatal depression and Maternal chorioamnionitis among others
  • HIE Hypoxia ischemic encalopathy
  • Birth asphyxia


Who Needs Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – NICU

  • Babies born prematurely (before 28 weeks and above).
  • Babies who have low birth weight (less than 2.5kg ).
  • Babies who have a medical condition that requires special care.

Below are some factors that can place a baby at high risk and increase the chances of being admitted to the NICU. But each baby must be assessed to see if he or she needs the NICU. High-risk factors include.


Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


Factors That Can Place A Baby in A NICU

Maternal factors include

  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Bleeding
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, or more)
  • Too little or too much amniotic fluid
  • Premature rupture of membranes (also called the amniotic sac or bag of waters)
  • HIV
  • Placenta previa
  • Placenta Abruption
  • Prolonged labor


Delivery factors include:

  • Changes in a baby’s organ systems due to lack of oxygen (fetal distress or birth asphyxia)
  • Breech delivery
  • Shoulder Dsytocia
  • Meconium stained liquor.
  • Cord prolapse.
  • Cord around the neck.


Baby factors include:

  • Extreme low birth weight < 1000g / > 26 weeks’ gestation
  • Very low weight birth baby 1000g / 1500g
  • Low birth weight 1500g / 2000g
  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Birth defects.
  • Moderate to severe hypoxia Ischaemic encephalopathy
  • Neonatal sepsis.
  • Moderate to severe neonatal jaundice.
  • Anemia in a Neonate
  • Respiratory distress including rapid breathing, grunting or stopping breathing (apnea)
  • Infection such as herpes, group B streptococcus, chlamydia
  • Neonatal seizures
  • Neonatal tetanus.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Need for extra oxygen or monitoring, IV (intravenous) therapy, or medicines
  • Need for special treatment or procedures such as a blood transfusion


Factors that will land a baby in a NICU


Read Also – Who Works in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – NICU


Who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – NICU

While your baby is in the NICU neonatal intensive care unit, he will be cared for by a team of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Every member of the NICU team has an important job to do. From the doctors who create the treatment plan to the nurses who provide constant care to the housekeepers who keep the unit clean.

Below is the list of specialist trained healthcare professionals that will care for your baby in a NICU.



-Respiratory Therapist:

-Neonatal nurse:


Others include

– Physical, occupational, and speech therapists:

– Dietitians.

– Optomologist

– Laboratory Scientist

-Patient Engagement Officers and more


Read More – Equipment you will find in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – NICU



Who works in NICU


Equipment’s you will see in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Below are some of the equipment you will find in a Neonatal intensive care unit.

  • Ventilator
  • Incubator
  • Overhead heaters
  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
  • Monitors
  • Central line –
  • Photographer lights
  • BP Apparatus
  • Nebulizer.  –
  • Oxygen hood.
  • Pulse oximeter.
  • Radiant warmer
  • Umbilical catheter.
  • Ambient oxygen analyzer
  • Intravenous ( IV ) drip
  • Vein viewer
  • Power supply


Where to find A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Lagos Nigeria.

At Outreach Women and Children’s Neonatal intensive care unit, we have seasoned neonatal specialists, consultant paediatricians, and medical personnel with many years of experience coupled with ‘state of the art ‘equipment that has enabled us handled many complex cases at our NICU.

All of the above enables us to take care of a wide range of issues including but not limited to:

– Neonatal Sepsis

– Respiratory distress syndrome

– Meconium aspiration syndrome

– Necrotising enterocolitis

– Neonatal Jaundice

– Perinatal asphyxia.

– Hypoglycemia

– Maternal chorioamnionitis

And more

To learn more call: 07089758800 – 08024327713 – 08183803643


Equipments you will find in a NICU




0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *