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10 Things to Expect in the NICU


8
Lots of Tests
A jaundiced baby under phototherapy lights to break down the bilirubin
A jaundiced baby under phototherapy lights to break down the bilirubin
DCL

To make sure the baby's doing well, the neonatologist will order various tests. The most common are blood tests that check blood oxygen, sugar, bilirubin and electrolyte levels and make sure there are no signs of anemia or infection. If your baby needs to have blood drawn often, the NICU team might place a central line in an artery so he or she doesn't have to be stuck each time. Nurses will also check the baby's urine (to make sure the kidneys are doing their job) and weigh him or her at least once a day.

A portable X-ray machine may make an appearance in the NICU to get a better idea of the baby's lung development. Ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans check organ function, while heart problems require an echocardiogram.


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