Newborn and Neonatal Intensive Care

Newborn and Neonatal Intensive Care

Monitoring in incubator, phototherapy, ventilation and other treatment modalities (surfactant therapy intravenous medication therapy etc.) are offered to premature babies or neonates with health problems at our Neonate Department and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Mothers are provided with postnatal training on various topics, including but not limited to breastfeeding and baby care.

Ventilatory Support (mechanical ventilation)

Respiratory distress syndrome is a common problem in premature babies who are born with underdeveloped lungs. Another cause of respiratory distress can be infections that may develop during or after birth. In some cases, ventilatory support may be necessary even if the baby can breathe well enough on its own a day or two after birth. Mechanical ventilation holds an important place in these cases. Newborns connected to a ventilator must also receive care in terms of temperature regulation and pain control. Adequate care and treatment can minimize a newborn’s risk of developing diseases. The most important aspect in neonatal ventilatory support is to observe the baby’s condition at the highest level possible while keeping contact at a minimum. During treatment, surfactants are administered to preterm newborns through their respiratory tract to support proper lung development.

Exchange Transfusion

Jaundice is seen in one out of every three infants and mostly, it recovers spontaneously within a couple of days. However, this disease can lead to serious problems, although rarely. The underlying causes of jaundice may be genetic factors, preterm delivery, nutritional disorder or the adjustment period of liver to its duties taken over from the placenta. The elevated bilirubin in blood of newborn accumulates in skin, sclera and cheeks and causes jaundice. Jaundice may develop secondary to blood incompatibility. In this case, exchange transfusion is performed for the newborn. The blood to be transfused should be compatible with the blood type of the baby. Exchange transfusion is performed to completely remove the blood containing unwanted substances to the body and replace it with healthy blood.

Phototherapy (Light Therapy)

Phototherapy, or light therapy, is a treatment method used for jaundice in newborn. The aim of therapy is to remove the bilirubin accumulating in blood from the body. To ensure this, the newborn is treated using lights with special wavelengths called phototherapy and the dissolving of bilirubin in urine is enabled. The excess bilirubin dissolved in urine is extracted from the body with urinary system and the disease is treated. Phototherapy is not recommended for all patients with jaundice. If bilirubin level in blood reaches to high levels, phototherapy may remain insufficient. In this case, exchange transfusion is repeated.

Percutaneous Catheter Insertion

Percutaneous catheter insertion is quite commonly used in intensive care of newborns. Percutaneous catheter insertion enables puncturing an intravenous access from fine vessels in arms and legs to the heart. Therefore, substances like drugs can easily be transmitted to the blood circulation. The procedure is performed by specialist physicians at Neonatal Intensive Care units.

Total Parenteral Nutrition Practices

In case of oral nutrition disorders in newborns, intravenous nutrition is applied. Treatment should be started as soon as possible after nutrition disorder is detected. Since nutrition is critical regarding the baby’s growth and development, delay in therapy may pave the way for growth retardation and other permanent diseases. In fact, parenteral nutrition practices are complementary therapies. Therefore, long-term use of them is not recommended. If the digestive system functions healthily, enteral feeding is recommended rather than parenteral nutrition. If feeding via intravenous route is absolutely necessary, the underlying cause of nutrition problem should be diagnosed and treated quickly.

Chest Tube Insertion

Chest tube insertion is a method used in treatment of pneumothorax. There is no certain underlying cause of air leakage in lung. Pneumothorax may develop shortly after birth. Generally, there is no remarkable symptom; however, the baby may suffer difficulty breathing due to this condition. In this case, oxygen therapy is primarily used. If recovery is not seen, insertion of chest tube may be necessary for the baby. Chest tube is removed and treatment is ended when the newborn heals.

Bedside EEG (Electroencephalogram)

EEG (electroencephalogram) is a test that involves electrical examination of brain activities and displaying the results on paper. Generally, it is used to investigate epilepsy. However, EEG may also be necessary to examine the brain activities of the newborn. When an abnormality in brain functions is detected in newborn, EEG can be carried out at intensive care unit to examine brain activities. If a disorder in brain activities is detected, the treatment should be started following early diagnosis of the condition. If the practices required for potential brain anomalies in newborn are not performed quickly, permanent damages may develop.

Bedside ECHO (Echocardiogram)

Some congenital heart diseases may be seen in babies. The majority of these diseases develop one year after birth; however, some of them may be detected in intrauterine period using fetal echo. In addition, heart diseases can also be diagnosed in the routine follow-up examinations performed by a physician within a year following birth. The heart diseases detected during delivery manifest themselves with respiratory disorders, cyanosis and hypertension. In case of one or several of those symptoms, ECHO can be scanned by specialist physicians. ECHO is an ultrasound modality utilized to visualize the heart using sound waves. It does not have any side-effects for the baby and it does not emit radiation. The diseases can easily be diagnosed by visualizing the heart of the newborn on a monitor through ECHO.

Bedside US

US (ultrasound) is a medical imaging technique that is employed to examine the brain and other visceral organs of the newborn using the ultrasonic sound waves. Bedside ultrasound can be performed at neonatal intensive care units by radiologists. Abdominopelvic ultrasound that enables visualizing the organs such as liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas can be performed with this method. In addition, transfontanelle cranial ultrasound can also be performed to examine the development of brain. In this way, whether there is an anomaly in visceral organs and brain can be investigated and further examinations can be performed in case of any disorder.

Retinopathy Examination

Retinopathy is one of the most critical ophthalmic diseases in babies. Development of eye continues until the primary school age in humans; however, the basic development stage finishes up to birth. Since the vessels of the eye cannot complete the development especially in premature babies, development of eye continues after birth. The vessels in eye may abnormally develop since intensive oxygen support is provided for premature babies. As a result, retinopathy develops. Laser applications are used in treatment of retinopathy. Early diagnosis is crucial for treatment to be effective. Following preterm deliveries, retinopathy is tried to be prevented with regular eye exam for the baby at intensive care unit.

If you are preparing for delivery, you can ensure that your baby is born in a healthier environment and take precautions against the potential complications after birth by presenting to our hospital where Neonatal Intensive Care units are available. If your baby who you gave birth at a different hospital needs care at Intensive Care Unit, you can transfer your baby to our intensive care units by immediately contacting our hospitals.