In doing some recent research on the technology (both equipment and medicines) used in today's NICU's, I was surprised a few times.
First, it's hard to actually find information on current NICU practices. I realize, as a non-medical person, I do not have the same access as medical staff to research publications but it was next to impossible to find much of anything in the way of usable information.
Second, as I was googling I noticed that my blog has been mentioned in a few preemie groups that I do not belong to (and never knew they existed).
It is the latter of these 2 surprises that caused me to want to discuss it further with all of you here.
See, when my blog was mentioned, it was because other preemie parents were saying that their outcomes would be better than my daughter's life because so much has changed in the NICU since my daughter was born, 8 years ago. One mom went as far as discussing my blog with her pediatrician, who told her not to worry because so much has changed and she has a better chance of a better outcome. Her child was a 24 weeker home on oxygen.
After reading many posts from parents of early preemies, who are still under a year old, I am finding that many of them seem to have more issues, early on, than those preemies born around the time when my daughter was born. More of them are coming home on oxygen. More seem to have ROP. Many more of them seen to have brain bleeds. By far, many more of them have hearing loss.
My daughter did not have any of the above.
So, has the NICU really changed in 8 years? For the better? Worse? I need the help of medical staff and researchers to make that determination.
*Our* NICU (Level 3) experience in 1998 (for our 25.5 week preemie)...
*Vent for less than 24 hours - no postnal steroids used to ween
*CPAP then nasal cannula
*Postnatal steroids used for kidney issue or possible CAH
*Daily heel sticks
*Closed incubator (except 3 days prior to going home)
*VERY loud environment-phone at bedside, helicopter landing above NICU, loud speakers
*Bright environment-quilts were used over incubators for some hours of the day
I'm sure there were some things that I was not aware of but the above is listed on various papers from her chart.
Anyone else care to weigh in on the differences from their NICU experience?
Nurses, neo's, etc... any thoughts on how the NICU has changed?