• Crib: once your infants’ care team determines it is appropriate your baby will transition from an isolette into an open crib​
  • Feeding tube: a tube that is placed to administer feedings to your infant. The tube is placed into the nose or mouth and ends in the stomach. Your infants care team will determine when it is safe for your baby to have this tube removed. ​
  • Isolette: an incubator that provides a heated and humidified environment to help your infant maintain a normal temperature and focus on growing​
  • IV pumps: if your infant requires an IV you will see a pump or multiple pumps at their bedside. These pumps are used to provide IV fluids and medications to your infant. ​
  • Open warmer: a bed type that is often seen in a delivery room. It is used in the NICU for older babies who need additional heat to maintain a proper body temperature but who do not require humidity.​
  • Phototherapy: a special blue ultraviolet light that your infant may require if their jaundice level becomes too high.​
  • Each infant will have their own individual bedside monitor that is also connected to our central monitor. The following items are all part of the bedside monitor that your infants nurse will go over with you: 
  • Pulse oximetry: provides a continuous read out of the oxygen level in your infants’ blood
  • ECG: provides a continuous read out of your infants heart rate and heart rhythm
  • Respiratory rate: the monitor will provide a continuous read out of how many breaths your infant is taking per minute 
  • Blood pressure: the monitor will provide a continuous read out of your infants blood pressure and/or the most recent blood pressure

The reason an infant needs intensive care varies. With that in mind, every infant’s course of care in the NICU will be different and follow its own individual path for the best possible outcome. This may mean more intensive care and different equipment. You may also see the following.

Respiratory Equipment

While your infant is in the NICU your infant may require respiratory support. Below are the types of respiratory support you may see.​

  • Conventional ventilator: The ventilator will provide a set amount of mechanical breaths per minute at designated settings through an endotracheal tube (breathing tube). Infants can also generate their own breaths that will be supported by the ventilator. In addition the ventilator can also provide other forms of less invasive support.​
  • Endotracheal tube/Breathing tube (ETT): A tube that is placed into your infants’ trachea or windpipe to provide breathing support.
  • ​High frequency oscillator ventilator: A ventilator that allows for tiny breaths at a very rapid rate.  ​​​
  • Micro flow nasal cannula: Provides micro flow oxygen via nasal cannula.  100% oxygen is administered at extremely low flow rates. The flow ranges from 0.02 lpm - 0.2 lpm. ​
  • Nasal cannula: Flow is supplied via nasal cannula. Oxygen can range from 21%-100%. Flow rates typically range from 0.25 lpm to 1 lpm. ​
  • Nasal CPAP (NCPAP): Provides CPAP via nasal cannula and conventional ventilator. Infant breathes on their own and is not receiving mechanical breaths  from the ventilator.  ​
  • NIPPV: Provided via nasal cannula and conventional ventilator. Provides NCPAP and a set amount of mechanical breaths per minute through a nasal cannula in addition to the infants’ own respiratory effort. 
  • Vapotherm: Machine that provides heated and humidified flow via nasal cannula. Flow rates typically range from 2 lpm to 6 lpm.  Oxygen can range from 21-100%.

While in the NICU most infants will require IV access for hydration and nutrition. You may see your infant with one or more of the following. ​

  • Peripheral IV (PIV): a short flexible IV catheter that is placed into a vein to administer IV fluids and medications.​
  • Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC): A catheter is placed under sterile conditions into a small vein and is then advanced into a larger central vessel. ​
  • Peripherally inserted arterial line (PAL): a short flexible catheter is placed into a peripheral artery to monitor blood pressure continuously and to draw blood for labs.​

Umbilical catheters are placed into the umbilical vessels under sterile conditions. 

  • Umbilical venous catheter (UVC): a catheter is placed into the umbilical vein and is used to administer IV fluids and medications
  • Umbilical arterial catheter (UAC): a catheter is placed into an umbilical artery and is used to monitor blood pressure continuously, draw blood for labs, and administer IV fluids