Neonatal Equipment Glossary

Below is a list of soem equipment used in caring for your baby and their functions:

  • Ambient Oxygen AnalyserThis small appliance sits inside the incubator to make sure there is enough oxygen in the air.
  • Bipap / SipapThis is similar to NCPAP, but the machine gives a set number of boost or air/O2 that reminds the baby to breathe regularly. Sometimes a baby needs this extra help after ventilation has been stopped.
  • Cerebral Function Monitor (CFM)This is a monitor that measures your baby’s brain activity. It can help the doctors diagnose any unusual activity may need treatment. It is sometimes used at the same time as the Tecotherm.
  • Feeding Pump and TubesFlexible plastic tubes through which nutrients are passed. He might have one, or all, of the following: a nasogastric tube which goes through your baby's nose, an orogastic tube through his mouth and into his stomach, and a transpyloric tube which goes directly to his gut.
  • High Frequency Ventilation (HFV)A type of ventilation that gently vibrates the baby's chest and delivers hundreds of tiny breaths per minute. This may be a better way of ventilating a few babies.
  • Hi FlowThis is air/O2 delivered through nasal cannulae but at a higher rate than low flow. Some babies do not need as much help as CPAP gives, but are not able to breathe entirely by themselves – high flow helps them in this stage.
  • HumidifiersA circular, heated chamber filled with water, which is placed outside the incubator and warms and moistens the oxygen a baby is receiving to make it easier for the lungs to absorb.
  • IncubatorA see-through box on wheels which keeps your baby warm. It may be open, with an overhead heater or heated mattress, or closed, with a lid, to keep the air around your baby warm and humid.
  • Incubator HumidityIf a baby is very early their skin is very fragile and porous. Humidity inside the incubator keeps the baby warm and the moisture helps to stop fluid being lost through the skin. Humidified air makes the inside of the incubator steamy, which can make it difficult to see your baby. Your baby’s nurse will be happy to clear the mist away from the incubator for you.
  • Infusion PumpIf your baby is not well enough to have milk feeds, he/she will need to be fed by inserting a small tube into a vein (a drip). A dextrose (sugar) solution, possibly with other fluids is given. To make sure that the fluid is given at a constant and regular rate, a pump is used.
  • Intravenous (IV) DripYour baby can receive fluids, nutrients and medication through this narrow tube and needle. If your baby needs a drip for a long time, the team might insert a catheter (also called a PICC line or long line), which doesn't need to be changed so often.
  • Nasal Cannulae / ProngsBabies can also receive extra oxygen where soft plastic tubes are placed just inside the nostrils.
  • Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Some babies need help with their breathing but do not need the support of a ventilator. NCPAP provides this by giving breathing support via soft prongs that are placed in the nose or a mask that covers the nose. To secure the prongs/mask, the baby will wear a special hat. Air or oxygen is then delivered through these prongs to provide pressure to help your baby breathe
  • Nitric Oxide TherapyThis is an extra gas which is mixed with the oxygen from the ventilator. It is used to improve the oxygen levels in the baby's blood.
  • Observation MonitorsThere are various kinds of monitors but all of them allow us to record the babies observations without having to disturb them. The main observations are heart and breathing rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and temperature.
  • Overhead HeaterA heater for an open incubator to make sure your baby's temperature is correct.
  • Phototherapy LightSmall babies often get a yellow colour to their skin in the first few days. We call this jaundice and it occurs because at first the baby cannot easily get rid of a substance, which forms naturally in the blood and gives a yellow colour. Until the baby can get rid of this substance we may have to treat the jaundice with a fluorescent light.
  • StethoscopeA stethoscope is used to listen to a baby's breathing and heart beat
  • TecothermSometimes if a term baby is not well at birth they need to be treated by cooling them to a very specific temperature. The tecotherm uses a special mattress filled with fluid that can be controlled by the nurses to keep the baby at that specific temperature. It is also used to warm the baby back up carefully after the treatment is finished.
  • ThermometerA special thermometer is used to record your baby's temperature accurately. This is often taken with a probe under your baby's arm.
  • Transport IncubatorThis is a special incubator used to transport babies and can be used in an ambulance. It has all the equipment has everything a baby may need when on the move.
  • VentilatorIf your baby has a breathing problem, we may need the help of a ventilator (a breathing machine). The doctor passes a tube through the mouth into the windpipe (trachea). The other end is attached to the breathing machine, which puffs air and oxygen in and out of the baby's lungs. To keep the tube in position a special sticky bar is used. Sometimes the instrument will take over the breathing completely but is often used to help if the baby's own breathing efforts are at all weak.