Standard tests and procedures for NICU babies

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, explains the standard tests and procedures that are performed on NICU babies, depending on the baby's time spent in the NICU
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Standard tests and procedures for NICU babies

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When a baby goes to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit instead of the regular nursery, the procedures are pretty similar. When the baby gets there, the baby is weighed and the length of the baby is measured and the head's circumference is also ascertained. At this point, the vitals are taken again. They were done for the first time in the labor room. Now, they're done again, the baby's blood pressure, the baby's pulse, the baby's respirations. But, different from in the nursery, the baby is hooked up to a monitor. The monitor looks at 2 things, the pulse oximetry to check for oxygenation and also an EKG to look at the baby's heart rate and the pattern of the baby's heart rate. Now, if the baby is only going to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to be observed, in other words the baby is going to stay there for less than 4 hours, the pediatrician is in charge of the babies care and gives the orders. Sometimes, the baby stays for longer than 4 hours or we know that the baby is going to need to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a prolonged amount of time possibly because of prematurity. In that case, the baby is not going to return to the regular nursery within the 4 hours and the neonatologist takes over the care of the baby. The neotanologist will put in an IV, send blood test, monitor the baby continuously and may also need to do a chest x-ray or scanning of the baby's brain.

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, explains the standard tests and procedures that are performed on NICU babies, depending on the baby's time spent in the NICU

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Lauren D. Hyman, MD

Obstetrician Gynecologist

Dr. Lauren Hyman is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. After receiving her ScB from Brown University and her medical degree from Yale University, Dr. Hyman returned to Southern California where she has been in private practice in the West Hills area for fifteen years. She can be seen weekly on Hallmark Channelʼs Home and Family Pregnancy Series and is a contributing writer on mom.me. She lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles.

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