The NICU provides comprehensive care for premature and high risk babies. It offers a complete range of medical and surgical services to its small patients.
The unit is supported by a wide range of pediatric specialty consultants. Care is delivered by a dedicated staff of neonatal nurses in collaboration with subspecialty-trained Neonatologists in our Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Our 10-bed NICU provides care to the Western Nepal population and serves as a major Western region referral center.
In addition to providing state-of-the-art medical technologies including the various modes of mechanical ventilation, diagnostic evaluation and treatments, every attempt is made to deliver care in a manner that optimally fosters development of the newborn infant as well as incorporates the family into care plan initiatives.
Every parent wants to have a healthy baby. But when an infant is born prematurely or becomes ill after birth, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), located in College of Medical Sciences Teaching Hosptial, is well prepared to provide specialized care. CMSTH has more than 8 years of experience in helping babies and families in crisis.
The NICU cares for hundreds of newborns a year. Premature infants (preemies) are the most common patients in the NICU. A premature infant is any infant born before 37 weeks. The NICU also cares for micro preemies (babies weighing less than 3.5 pounds), babies that are either small or large for their gestational age, babies with jaundice, babies with diabetic mothers and twins or multiple births. On average, a premature baby is dismissed from the NICU between 34-35 weeks gestational age.
The 10-bed facility is divided into two areas: a critical module and a progressive module. The NICU also has an isolation room, a breast pump room, a family lounge and "rooming-in" accommodations. To form the best environment possible for CMS’s tiny patients, the facility features dim lighting and reduced noise. Rocking chairs, blankets and wall decorations give each area a personal touch.
All babies that need NICU care are admitted into the critical module first. They are then moved to the progressive module as their condition improves. Each infant is placed in either an incubator or on a warmer bed. Both help to regulate the infant's body temperature. Additionally, the incubator also decreases outside stimuli for which the baby is not yet ready. These beds allow for ventilation devices, IV's, cardio-respiratory monitors and feeding tubes to monitor and assist the baby. The focus in the critical module is to get the infant to the point where he can breath on his own.
* Progressive Module: The progressive module, with 4 beds and two isolations beds, is for babies who are getting ready to go home. Before moving an infant here, the baby must be able to fully breathe on his own. While babies do not obtain any form of breathing assistant, many still receive IV's, oxygen and tube feedings. From this point, the NICU helps the baby and parents take the necessary steps required before going home. The infant is watched carefully as he gains weight and begins to maintain stable temperatures on his own.
* Family/Parents Lounge: The family and parent's lounge is designed to accommodate the needs of visiting family members. The lounge includes couches for relaxing and a quiet room for much-needed naps.
During labor and delivery, an NICU team will attend the deliveries of at-risk moms, babies having difficulty during delivery, and all deliveries by C-section. This team includes a neonatal nurse and a respiratory therapist. A neonatologist will join the group if needed who is on call 24 hours a day.
* Primary Care Nursing: After birth, a primary care nurse is assigned to care for preemies, complicated or critical cases and those infants expected to be long-term patients. these neonatal nurses spend as much time with the baby and parents as possible. This allows for more consistent care and insightful assessment of individual needs of both baby and parents.
* Neonatal Transport Team: When babies at outlying hospitals require NICU care, CMS Samaritan ambulance transports them to our neonatal intensive care unit. A neonatal transport team accompanies the Samaritan crew on the ambulance.
The NICU practices family-centered care. This concept places parents on the same team as the neonatologist, nurses, therapists and other support members. CMS encourages parents to be involved in each step. For this reason, parents and grandparents have 24-hour access to their baby.
* "Rooming In": "Rooming In" is a program designed to give parents confidence in their ability to care for their baby before taking the infant home. Parents can choose to spend a night with their baby in the accommodating room located just across from the NICU. This gives the family privacy, while assuring them that help is just across the hall, if needed. This step is often just what the parents need before taking their new baby home.
* Kangaroo Care: Kangaroo Care is a special program to initiate parent-child bonding. In this program, parents are encouraged to hold their babies skin to skin. Studies have shown that holding babies skin to skin helps stabilize temperatures, improves oxygen flow to the body, help mom's breast milk production and promotes parent-child bonding.