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.
2015 was an important year in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with a number of “first-ever” in our capacity to care for critically ill of neonates:
1. Expansion and remodeling of the NICU, doubling our bed capacity and floor space.
2. Our smallest NICU survivor ever, Baby Careen, weighing only 770 grams (1 pound – 11 ounces) on arrival.
3. Two experienced American NICU nurse instructors, Mary Dix and Louise Mitchell, who spent 5 weeks in the NICU training our Tanzanian nurses and upgrading their clinical skills.
4. Addition of a Canadian NICU nurse, Lisa Giesbrecht, to our NICU staff. Lisa is here
to help with NICU nurse training, protocol development, and implementation of nursing best practices.
5. A 16% decline in the incidence of NICU deaths compared to 2014, despite caring for more critically-ill neonates than ever before.
6. The development and implementation of additional NICU protocols and medication guidelines, that standardize and support evidence-based clinical decisions.
7. During the year 2015, 236 babies were admitted to the NICU, representing a 6% increase in overall admissions compared to year 2014.
8. Among the 236 neonatal admissions, 74 (31%) were preterm babies. Fifty percent of all NICU admissions were from outside ALMC (“transfers in”), representing the growing recognition of ALMC’s NICU as a center for care for critically ill preterm and term infants. Of the 119 neonates referred in to the NICU, most arrived from Selian Lutheran Hospital in Ngaramtoni. Full term babies represented 68% of all admissions, and included newborns requiring management of conditions such perinatal/birth asphyxia, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, neonatal seizures, respiratory distress, meconium aspiration syndrome, neonatal sepsis, jaundice, and neonates requiring care following surgery for congenital conditions.