Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital has expanded their state-of-the-art NICU to provide hope, care, and a home for the tiniest fighters
16 November 2023| Last updated on 17 November 2023
What is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?
Based in Abu Dhabi, Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides health care services for newborn babies until 28 days of life (up to 44 weeks corrected gestational age), starting at 24 weeks of gestation.
The unit may also provide treatment for babies of lower gestational ages as per the doctor’s order.
It comprises of 20 Neonatal Intensive Care beds, including isolation beds. It provides comprehensive medical treatment and nursing care for newborns requiring a high level of care, constant supervision and monitoring.
Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital's multi-disciplinary Level 3 NICU staff are here to assist your baby and family.
Their NICU team includes neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, imaging technologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, pharmacists, lactation consultants, speech therapists, dieticians and support-service staff.
Level 3 NICU in Abu Dhabi
As per the Department of Health (DOH) regulation, Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital's facility is accredited as a Level 3 NICU.
What is a Level 3 NICU?
Level 1 NICU: Well newborn nursery, which offers regular nursery care for healthy newborns
Level 2 NICU: Special care nursery, which cares for premature and sick newborns
Level 3 NICU: Neonatal intensive care unit, which cares for seriously ill newborns
A level 3 NICU, or level III NICU, is capable of caring for very small or very sick newborn babies.
Level 3 NICUs have a wide variety of staff on-site, including neonatologists, neonatal nurses, and respiratory therapists who are available 24 hours a day with subspecialty services.
Infants born at less than 32 weeks gestational age and weighing less than 1,500 grams (53 ounces or 3.3 pounds), as well as critically ill newborns of any gestational age and birth weight, should be taken care of in a level 3 NICU.1
Who are recommended to be transported to a Level 3 NICU?
Studies have shown better outcomes for very low birth weight and premature infants who are born at level 3 centres. That is why doctors recommend that pregnant people at risk of having premature or low birth weight newborns be transported to these canters to give birth.
A level 3 NICU can provide continuous life support and comprehensive care. It can offer critical medical and surgical care. It can provide mechanical ventilation and high-frequency mechanical ventilation for babies who cannot breathe on their own. A level 3 NICU will monitor babies for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP, which can cause blindness) and treat the condition.
The medical team at a level 3 NICU can perform minor surgical procedures, such as umbilical vessel catheterisation (in which a catheter is inserted into one of the blood vessels in the baby's umbilical cord stump, so that the baby's blood pressure can be monitored and blood can be taken without using a needle).
Level 3 NICUs also have paediatric surgical centres on-site or close by to complete major surgeries, and bowel surgery to treat necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), a serious infection of the lining of the intestines.
As in a level 2 NICU, a level 3 NICU will have physicians such as paediatricians and neonatologists. You can expect that a level 3 NICU has access to a full range of paediatric medical specialists, such as paediatric ophthalmologists and anaesthesiologists, to address problems premature and critically ill newborns may have.
These centres have advanced imaging technology and experts to interpret the scans and assist in diagnosis.
Available services at NICU
Procedures used at the NICU include:
- INSURE (Intubation Surfactant Extubation)
- Non Invasive Ventilation (Sipap,BCPAP,Optiflow,Hi Flow)
- Central line umbilical venous and arterial
- PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter)
- Cranial ultrasound by consultant
- Echcardiogram, when needed, by paediatric cardiologist
- Chest tube Insertion
- Intravenous access and maintenance
- Hemodynamic monitoring
- Exchange transfusion
- Total parenteral nutrition
- Ventilator support includes high frequency ventilation
- Oxygen saturation monitoring
- Promoting of breastfeeding and lactation assistance /device
- Paediatric/neonatal surgery
- Cooling with CFM for HIE babies
- Newborn Screening (CCHD, metabolic screening, hearing screening) as per Department of Health
- Inhaled NO as life‐saving therapy