ABG/Arterial Blood Gas/Blood Gas
A test performed on blood taken from an artery to
determine the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This is one way to determine
how well a baby is breathing.
A decrease in red blood cells which carry oxygen to
all tissues of the body. In severe anemia or very sick infants, transfusion of
blood may be required.
Drugs that kill bacteria. They are given to treat
infections caused by bacteria but not those caused by viruses.
A pause in breathing often followed by a decrease
in heart rate, oxygen saturation, or change in color. Premature babies often
experience apnea due to immature breathing centers in their brains.
A substance released when the body breaks down red
blood cells. Too much bilirubin causes jaundice.
A slowing of the heart rate, generally to less than
80 beats per minute for a newborn baby.
Breast milk or formula given through a feeding tube
into the infant's stomach, at a constant rate.
Continuous positive airway pressure. Air, with or
without extra oxygen, given to the infant through small soft tubes in the nose.
The pressure keeps the air sacs in the lungs open, making it easier for the baby
A laboratory test on blood or other body fluid to
check for the presence of infection.
Desats or Desaturation
A decrease in the amount of oxygen in a baby's red
Electrolytes or Lytes
Chemicals in the blood that are needed for proper
body function. These include sodium (Na), potassium (K), chloride (CI), calcium
(Ca), and magnesium (Mg).
ET Tube or Endotracheal Tube
A tube placed through a baby's windpipe (trachea)
into their lungs and connected to a ventilator (respirator).
Gavage Feeding or Tube Feeding
Breast milk or formula given through a feeding
tube. The feeding tube goes through the baby's nose or mouth into the
The number of weeks that have passed between the
first day of the last menstrual period and the date of birth. Term pregnancy is
40 weeks gestation.
Isolette or Incubator
A heated, clear plastic box-like enclosure in which
premature or sick babies are placed.
IVH or Intraventricular Hemorrhage
Bleeding within the brain cavities (ventricles).
The doctor will order a cranial ultrasound to check for IVH in small premature
infants at risk. Your doctor will discuss the findings with you.
Yellow skin color that occurs from the buildup of
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a severe inflammation
of the bowel that may require surgery. When this condition is suspected, babies
will be started on antibiotics, IV fluids and will have bowel rest (no enteral
feeding) until the bowel recovers.
Baby is given only intravenous fluids with no oral
High-frequency oscillatory ventilation is a
breathing machine that does not give a true "breath" but vibrates air and oxygen
in a baby's lungs.
A monitored valve that shows the percentage of
oxygen in a baby's blood.
A clear plastic box placed over a baby's head so
that extra oxygen can be given.
Patent ductus arteriosus. The ductus arteriosus is
a short blood vessel near the baby's heart that connects the lung artery with
the aorta (a blood vessel that carries blood to the body). Before birth, it
carries blood away from the baby's lungs directly to the body. This vessel
should close shortly after birth. If it does not, it is called a patent ductus
arteriosus and may need medical treatment.
PERC Line or PICC Line
A thin tube inserted and threaded into a vein,
usually in the arm or leg. This is one type of IV site used to give fluids and
medications to a baby.
A bright light shined on a baby to treat
Respiratory distress syndrome, sometimes called
hyaline membrane disease. A condition caused by a lack of surfactant in the
baby's lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
Retinopathy of prematurity is a problem of
overgrowth of vessels in the retina (inside of the eyes) in very small premature
infants that may lead to vision loss or blindness. The ophthalmologist will
periodically check the eyes of premature infants at risk. Some babies may
require laser treatment.
Breast milk or formula left in a baby's stomach,
often measured before a feeding to check if it is being digested.
An infection in the blood that affects the whole
A soap-like substance made in the lungs that keeps
the lung air sacs open. Premature babies do not have enough surfactant. It is
often given to babies after birth to treat breathing problems.
Total parenteral nutrition/intralipids. IV
solutions that together provide total nutritional needs to the baby.
Umbilical arterial catheter/umbilical vein catheter
is a thin tube inserted into a baby's umbilical cord artery or vein in order to
give fluids and medications. Blood for laboratory tests can also be taken from
Vent or Ventilator
A machine that breathes for a baby. Sometimes
called a respirator.
A baby's heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen
saturation, blood pressure and temperature.