Our Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children offers a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to provide specialty care for infants, even those less than 1,000 grams. Our on-staff neonatologist works closely with our highly trained NICU nurses and respiratory therapists to deliver the most sophisticated care in a technologically advanced and nurturing environment.
Parents are vital in the role of their baby’s care. Our private NICU rooms allow parents to stay with their infant as much as they want, 24 hours a day.
Prior to entering the NICU, all visitors must wash their hands in a special way. Maintaining clean hands is the best way to prevent the spread of infection to our littlest patients. If you have any questions, please ask someone from our NICU care team.
Our preemies and at-risk newborns thrive in the comfort of our womb-like cradles and each baby has his or her own private room with accommodations for parents to stay with their baby.
Special Care for NICU Babies
When you enter a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit you will see a variety of equipment and machines in the room. Depending on the needs of your baby, some of the equipment used in your baby’s care may include:
- Ventilator – If babies are unable to breathe effectively on their own, a tube may be placed in the baby’s mouth or nose to assist with breathing until no longer needed.
- Giraffe bed (incubator) – A clear plastic enclosed bed that helps keep babies warm.
- Heart monitor – Small leads (stickers with attached wires) are placed on babies to monitor their heart and breathing.
- Tube feedings – Some babies receive nutritional feedings through tubes in their nose, mouth, or through a tube placed in their stomach.
- Intravenous (IV) tubes – A central line may be placed in the umbilical cord or in an IV site that will allow fluids, medicine and sometimes nutrition to be given.
- Photo therapy – Sometimes babies may have jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes) and may be required to receive special light therapy for the skin.
When Can My Baby Go Home from the NICU?
Before being discharged home, NICU babies must meet certain milestones regarding their weight, breathing, feeding, and temperature. Sometimes a NICU baby will no longer need intensive care but are not quite ready to go home. Those infants may transfer to be with their mother on the Mother/Baby Unit. Other babies may have specific special needs but can be discharged home if certain requirements are met. Your NICU nurse will keep you informed about your baby’s progress and any special requirements he or she may need.
View the video below to learn about baby Franklin’s stay at Lakeland Regional Health’s NICU in the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children.