Neonatology- A Comprehensive study on Neonatal Care

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The field of neonatology deals with the care and treatment of newborns. It covers a wide range of topics, including preterm infants, premature rupture of membranes, respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice, congenital heart disease, hyperbilirubinemia, hypoglycemia, infections, metabolic disorders, etc. The term “neonate” refers to an infant less than 28 days old. This includes babies born at or after 26 weeks gestation but before seven days postnatal age.

What is neonatal health care?

A baby born prematurely or with a low birth weight has not received adequate prenatal care. The term can be used for babies that have been delivered before 37 weeks gestation. It is also called a preterm infant.

The first few days after delivery are known as the newborn period. This includes when the baby breathes air outside the womb, usually through an endotracheal tube in the nose, but may consist of living by mouth if necessary. The average length of this phase is about 28 to 32 hours. During this stage, the baby’s body temperature rises from 98°F to 105°F. After this initial stabilization, the baby will enter what is commonly referred to as the “Golden Hour,” where resuscitation efforts should begin
immediately. If these attempts fail, it is common practice to transfer the baby to a Level III nursery. In some cases, however, there might be no other choice than to place the baby in a medically induced coma until they improve enough to survive without medical intervention.

After the Golden hour, the baby must undergo further evaluation to determine whether they need additional treatment. These treatments could range from simple observation to complex surgery such as open-heart surgery. Some infants require intensive care unit level care, which involves continuously monitoring vital signs, administering medications intravenously, providing oxygen therapy via nasal
cannula, feeding them by gastric tubes, etc.

RDS occurs most often among premature babies whose mothers did not receive proper antenatal care. Some infants develop respiratory distress syndrome, a condition characterized by difficulty getting sufficient amounts of oxygen into their lungs due to immature lung development. Infants with severe forms of RDS may require mechanical ventilation using positive pressure machines to help ensure
adequate gas exchange. Therefore, Neonatal care is intensively developed.

Why is Neonatal Care Important?

There are many reasons why we need to know more about neonatal health care.
Every day around 40,000 children dies worldwide.

Each year millions of children suffer severe injuries and disabilities caused by
accidents during pregnancy, childbirth, infancy, and childhood.
Nearly 15 million women give birth annually in developing countries; one out of five
pregnant women die giving birth.

Almost half of all new HIV infections occur in young people aged 10–24 years old.
Over 200 diseases can affect fetuses or newborns. Approximately 50% of maternal deaths occur within 24 h following delivery. Up to 30% of infant mortality is attributable to preventable causes, including prematurity, low birth weight, congenital anomalies, perinatal infection, intrapartum complications, and sudden unexpected death. Preterm births account for 60 percent of SUDs.

What is the highest level of neonatal care?

The highest level of neonatal health care is called Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Units. This type of facility provides specialized medical services, including continuous monitoring of vitals, administration of drugs through IV lines, blood transfusions, ventilator support, cardiac catheterization, surgical procedures, special nutrition programs, etc. LIII NICS facilities usually treat high-risk newborns requiring advanced technology and expertise. In some cases, this includes delivery room resuscitation,
stabilization, transport, and transfer to another hospital.

Do neonatologists do surgery?

Pediatric surgeons perform surgery. Pediatricians perform surgeries on older children, but they refer neonatal operations to other specialists such as plastic surgeons, urologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, ophthalmologists, orthopedics, gastroenterologists, gynecologists, dermatologists, nephrology, pulmonology, etc.

What is NICU?

NICU stands for Newborn Intensive Care Unit. These units provide intensive nursing care for premature infants and those whose conditions require close monitoring. They are staffed by nurses specially trained in caring for minimal patients. In addition to being highly skilled at handling highly fragile patients, NICUs specialize in treating certain types of illnesses: Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Premature Births, Congenital Heart Disease, Necrotizing Enterocolitis, Early Onset Sepsis, Infectious Diseases, etc.

How much is NICU per day?

NICUs cost anywhere between $1-2 billion dollars annually. These costs don’t even cover what it would cost to provide full-time nursing care for an average baby! They include everything needed to keep premature babies alive: equipment, staff, medications, supplies, food, housing, transportation, training, education, research, etc. don’t

In addition to being expensive, there are several reasons why hospitals need to invest so heavily in NICUs. First, most premature babies require constant attention and supervision. Second, although modern medicine has made great strides in improving survival rates, many very sick babies remain hospitalized until age two or three. Third, many mothers with complicated pregnancies will deliver their babies prematurely. Finally, many families choose not to terminate the pregnancy despite severe complications.

In fact, according to the World Health Organization, over 50% of all deliveries worldwide take place outside of healthcare centers. As a result, approximately 3 million babies are delivered without any prenatal care whatsoever.

Is there any way to save money?

Yes! There are ways to reduce costs without compromising the quality of care. One option is to use an outpatient clinic instead of staying overnight in the hospital.