Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Newborn babies who need intensive medical attention are often admitted into a special area of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU combines advanced technology and trained health care professionals to provide specialized care for the tiniest patients. NICUs may also have intermediate or continuing care areas for babies who are not as sick but do need specialized nursing care. Some newborn babies will require care in a NICU, and giving birth to a sick or premature baby can be quite unexpected for any parent. Most babies admitted to the NICU are premature (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy), have low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds), or have a medical condition that requires special care.

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