Nursing Care of the Ventilated Infant

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  1. As nurses spend 24 h per day with the newborn in an intensive care nursery, nursing care is essential to the eventual recovery and discharge of these fragile patients.

  2. History taking assists in focusing on an area while keeping the mind open to other possibilities. It is also important to know environmental and community/epidemiological impacts (e.g., onset of Respiratory Syncytial Virus season).

    1. Maternal, including past and existing medical conditions

    2. Family

    3. Social

    4. Delivery room

    5. Neonatal

  3. Normal physiology, pathophysiology, and embryology are key to understanding the concepts of respiratory disease in the neonate.

  4. Assessment.

    1. Observation

      1. General state

        1. Sleeping, awake, alert, crying or motions of crying, if ventilated

        2. Must be an objective assessment as patient cannot give subjective feedback

        3. A number of pain scales and stress scales are available for use with neonates including preterm and ventilated babies

      2. Color

        1. Generalized color as well as central color deter