Wednesday, August 8, 2012
What happens when an infection is suspected?
Often times through out a NICU stay your preemie may acquire an infection of some kind. The types of infections vary as widely as their symptoms as well as the course of action taken. I remember the first few times the NICU notified me of their suspicions I was terrified and was even more nervous when they gave me a run down of what they would do to identify the infection and the appropriate course of action.
Once the medical staff detected any sort of issue or “symptom” they would quickly jump into action. It usually began with a blood draw that would be sent of for a culture, and would sometimes also include a Spinal Tap as well. If they noticed any type of discharge they would swab the air and send that for a culture as well. Sonograms and/or x-rays could be expected to depending on exactly what was suspected, for example: if there was an area of the body that was swollen or if it was a possible repertory infection they may x-ray their chest, etc.
After that the waiting game began… the waiting for test results. Most often a “positive” would come back on any test rather quickly which meant they could then pursue treatment rapidly. Depending on what exactly the medical team believed the infection was, they would start treatment before that because waiting could causes the infection to get worse.
Something that is important to remember is that you know your baby best. If you notice something different, don’t be afraid to speak up.  You are part of your baby’s care team too and early intervention and detection of an infection is the best treatment. 

Here are some common infections for NICU babies: (check back often, we will add more soon!)
Group B Streptococcal 


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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