Intensive Care Units for Newborns

For the purpose of developing this document, the committee has adopted the definition of newborn intensive care used by White and Colleagues (2013) “care for medically unstable or critically ill newborns requiring constant nursing, complicated surgical procedures, continual respiratory support or other intensive interventions” (p.S5).  Intermediate care refers to less intensive observation/monitoring by professional staff but may include equipment such as oxygen, intravenous therapy (IV), and respiratory supports.  Since babies may be managed in sub-specialty intensive care units managed by neonatal, cardiac, neuro, and/or pediatric services where babies are cared for, these recommendations should be applied by interprofessional teams collaborating to provide standardized IFCDC, regardless of the unit location or specialty service.

The consensus of the committee stresses that babies, parents and the family shall be partners in collaborative practice with professionals.  This partnership shall influence care and wellbeing through the active exchange of perspective, information, observation, and expectation.

In this document, the consensus committee has chosen to illustrate the integration of the parents, through descriptive statements, that help professionals to “imagine” what it is like to be them, for example: 

—“imagine…having one single event, your child’s birth, be the cause for celebrating the best, and the worst, day of your life.”*