Premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are fragile and at risk of sudden changes in oxygenation and carbon dioxide levels that can cause severe complications like blindness, lung injury, permanent brain injury.
Optimal oxygenation monitoring is critical in the NICU to detect rapid changes in the babies respiratory status. A sensor is gently applied to the babies body and continuously measures blood gases diffusing through the skin. This form of monitoring in sick babies provides a real-time overview of the babies often fluctuating oxygenation and ventilation status. This not only minimizes blood sampling from the fragile newborn, but the continuous information allows doctors and nursing staff to intervene immediately should any changes in the ventilation or oxygenation status occur.
This year the Newborn Intensive Care Foundation is raising funds to purchase 4 special monitors at a total cost of around $90,000.