Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a special area of our hospital with 30 beds where newborn babies who need intensive medical attention are admitted. This can be due to a serious medical condition that requires immediate special care or in most cases, premature babies.
A baby is considered premature if born before 37 weeks of pregnancy (gestational age). Low birth weight is a common problem with premature babies and is one of the major causes of infant mortality.
A low birth weight can also lead to increased risk of infection and other complications because a tiny body with less fat is not strong enough to eat properly, gain weight or fight infection. Some of the common problems of low birth weight are:
* Low oxygen levels at birth
* Inability to maintain body temperature
* Difficulty feeding and gaining weight
* Breathing problems caused by immature lungs
* Other neurological or gastrointestinal problems
* Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
In most of the cases babies with low birth weight need specialized care in the NICU until they gain weight and are well enough to go home. The NICU combines advanced technology and trained health care professionals to provide specialized care for the tiniest patients.
The NICU at the Ernakulam Medical Centre is a Level III category facility that is equipped to provide the highest standard of neonatal care with one-to-one patient care as per the globally accepted practice of grading care at NICUs depending on their facilities and service levels.