Members of the Care Team
- - Advanced practice providers are registered nurses with a master’s degree that have received advanced training in a variety of fields, including developmental pediatrics, pediatric cardiology and pediatric intensive care.
- - A neonatologist is a specialist within the medical field. They earned this designation by undergoing training in pediatrics and completing three years of additional training to specialize in the care of newborn infants needing intensive care. Many neonatologists participate in follow-up developmental pediatric programs as part of their training.
- - A blood transfusion is a process in which blood is given to a baby. This is a common need in premature babies and full-term babies born with health problems. A blood transfusion is a way to provide extra red blood cells (RBCs) to the baby. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and it is vital that the baby has a certain amount.
- - The PICC line is a thin tube that is inserted into a vein in order to give medicine and fluids directly into the infant’s bloodstream. It is used if a baby needs to be given medicine, blood or fluids many times over several days, weeks or months.
- - A catheter is a thin tube that is placed in the body in order to draw out blood to be used for testing or to allow fluids and medicines to be given. This device serves as a passage that allows doctors and nurses to perform these functions as needed. An umbilical catheter is inserted into the umbilical cord in one of two ways; either into a vein (called an umbilical venous catheter or UVC) or into an artery (called an umbilical arterial catheter or UAC).
- - Air leak syndrome is a term used to describe problems that happen when air collects within a baby’s chest, but outside the normal air cells of the lungs. The air then creates pressure on the lungs and makes breathing very difficult.
- - Apnea is a problem in which a baby temporarily stops breathing while sleeping or resting. Many newborns have short pauses in their breathing (less than 20 seconds). But a baby is said to have apnea if he or she stops breathing for at least 20 seconds, or has a slowed heart rate (bradycardia), or has a bluish color to the skin with a shorter pause in breathing. Periods of apnea may be accompanied by bradycardia and these events are called "spells" or "alarms."
- - The amount of sugar in our blood, called blood sugar or blood glucose, is the fuel that keeps all of our body systems working. If this level dips too low, it is called hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can happen in any newborn, but some babies have a higher risk for it. Because a baby’s body requires so much energy (sugar) after birth, low blood sugar usually occurs within the first few hours after birth. In general, the risk for low blood sugar in a healthy, full-term newborn declines shortly after birth. Yet, if blood sugar stays too low for too long without treatment, it can affect the brain. The effects can range from mild to severe, and may result in learning problems, vision problems, and impaired development of motor skills and speech.
- - Brain injury may result from damage of the fragile blood vessels and/or the white matter in premature babies. Often, this is caused by a complex mix of events that may occur while the fetus is in the womb, during the delivery or after birth.
- - Chronic lung disease (CLD), also known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), occurs if growth in parts of a baby’s lungs are disrupted, altering the lung structure and function. CLD can lead to continued lung problems for some children. Because severe CLD can cause decreased oxygen to parts of the baby’s body, it also can lead to problems with the baby’s heart, and with hearing, motor skills, speech and learning.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a term used to describe a group of problems present at birth that affect the structure of the heart and/or the large vessels near the heart. There are many types of CHD. Some types may be detected before birth and, in some cases, may be treated before birth. Other types are not found until the baby is born, during childhood or in adulthood. -
- - Congenital malformations, also called birth defects, are problems that happen while a baby is still in the womb. There are many types of congenital malformations that may affect organs (such as the heart, lungs or brain) or body parts (such as eyes, hands, fingers or feet).
- - Jaundice is a term used to describe a yellow color in a baby’s skin and in the white parts of the eyes. Jaundice sometimes appears when there is a high level of a substance called bilirubin in the baby’s blood that causes the yellow color.
- - Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when a baby breathes in a waste substance, called meconium, before birth or during delivery, which then causes injury to the lung tissue.
- - Necrotizing enterocolitis is a gastrointestinal disease that mainly affects babies born prematurely and those born with extremely low birth weight (ELBW) (less than 2.2 pounds or 1,000 grams).
- - Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a problem with a baby’s heart that occurs when a small blood vessel that passes between the two largest blood vessels just outside the heart does not close up after birth.
- - Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a problem in which the blood pressure in a baby’s lungs is too high.
- - Prematurity is a term used to describe infants born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Infants born prematurely may experience motor, language, cognitive or other developmental delays, sensory losses such as hearing or visual impairment or feeding difficulties.
- - Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is a problem in which a baby, usually a premature infant, has trouble breathing. RDS happens when the baby’s lungs do not produce enough of a series of soap-like chemicals called surfactant to make the lungs less stiff so they can work well.
- - Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a problem with a baby’s eyes. The retina is a thin layer of tissue that covers the back portion of the eyeball. In babies born early, blood vessels still need to grow in the retina. In some babies, these vessels grow too fast and in a corkscrew shape. This process can cause bleeding and scarring. Scarring sometimes pulls the retina off the back of the eye. This can cause loss of sight or decreased vision.