|Newborn Intensive Care is provided for new-born children who need respiratory or other assistance immediately after birth and through the first month of life. Charity, as well as regular, clients are cared for in the unit which includes:
1. Admission and exam by a Junior Doctor, a nurse, and consultant specialist.
2. Continuous (24-hour) monitoring by NICU staff.
3. A full range of laboratory, imaging, and technological support.
4. The NICU provides a full range of technological support including overhead warmers, incubators, and phototherapy lights for treating jaundice, Bubble CPAP - for respiratory care, umbilical catheters, and cardiorespiratory monitors.
5. Each mother is provided with a bed in the hospital for round the clock availability.
2016 was a busy year in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with ongoing improvements in our capacity to provide the highest level of neonatal available in Tanzania:
1. An increasing proportion of babies surviving that were born premature with birth weights less than 1.5 kg
2. Seven extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies surviving in 2016, with an average birth weight of 845 grams (1 pound-14 ounces).
3. Our smallest survivor ever, baby Swaumu, weighing only 760 grams (1 pound – 11 ounces) on arrival. This beautiful little girl received every aspect of our care in the NICU (advanced medications, respiratory and fluid support, antibiotics, and blood transfusions), and was eventually discharged home after nearly 2 months as a healthy, thriving infant.
4. A continued reduction in our NICU mortality rate across all weight categories, as our capacity to care for the smallest, sickest neonates continues to improve.
5. The introduction of pulmonary surfactant to our NICU, a complex liquid that is placed into the lungs of a premature baby to help keep their lungs from collapsing and to facilitate gas exchange. We are the only hospital in Tanzania using pulmonary surfactant, an established medication known to improve survival rates in extremely premature neonates.
6. The development and implementation of additional NICU protocols and medication guidelines, that standardize and support evidence-based clinical decisions.
7. The arrival of a Canadian NICU nurse, Lisa Giesbrecht, RN. Lisa worked in our NICU for 1 year, bringing her experience and expertise to improving our NICU protocols and training our nurses. Her NICU legacy is being carried forward by another visiting pediatric nurse, Nicole Schank, from Minnesota.
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