Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Critically ill and high-risk newborns are cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at CHEO. In addition to providing hospital care to newborns in a 20-bed unit, CHEO also manages the transfer of critically ill infants. The Neonatal Transport Team is a specially trained critical care team available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. This team, which includes nurses and respiratory therapists provides rapid access to the right care in the right place, responding to calls, stabilizing sick babies wherever they are born (sometimes in advance of birth), and providing safe transfer to CHEO or other appropriate neonatal intensive care units. Specialized equipment is a must for this team and this unit.
Last year, CHEO desperately needed to replace 12 oxygen blenders to help our most fragile babies breathe when they can’t do it on their own. These blenders allow for a precise concentration of oxygen to be delivered to the babies. Without a blender, we are only able to provide either room air or pure oxygen. Many patients require some oxygen, but too much oxygen can cause damage to their eyes, brains and other organs. With a blender in place we can customize the amount of oxygen delivered to the patient at any time, including instances when they may require resuscitation. For the first time at CHEO, every patient in the NICU will have a resuscitation bag connected to a blender. For some patients, this will be used regularly, while some will never need it. Thanks to donors, the equipment is now available in the case of emergency which is an absolute must for safety and appropriate care.