Infant Intensive Care: How is the NICU Different from the PICU?

While no one wants their newborn to have to undergo all sorts of intensive care, things don’t always go according to our wishes. intensive care The place where babies get their best care is the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The two units have similar names because they have a lot in common. But still have different meanings. Let’s take a step-by-step look at each of the two units to see what makes them different.

Why do babies go to the NICU and PICU?

Despite their differences, both the NICU and the PICU are intended for children who require the highest level of medical care. Both units are designed for the highest level of monitoring and feature specialized equipment not found in other areas of the hospital (such as ventilators, monitors, and other specialized equipment). Provide interventions and medications to pediatric patients who require close medical supervision. In addition, both sites will have a lower staff-to-patient ratio to accommodate the severe needs of patients. So how can we differentiate between the two in simple terms? let us explain this

NICU is different from PICU. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock.

Difference Between NICU and PICU

Inpatient wards: Simply called a NICU, or neonatal intensive care unit, it is for babies born to one month old who need 24-hour care, including premature babies. people with health problems Serious infection after childbirth Congenital heart disease, and other surgical conditions of newborns requiring intensive postoperative monitoring, others with very low birth weight. (Low birth weight: 1.5 to 2.0 kg, Very low birth weight: 1 to 1.5 kg, Very low birth weight: less than 1.0 kg), Small for precocious babies and those who have had a difficult birth. such as difficulty breathing, suckling problems, etc. The NICU has a team of doctors who specialize in caring for newborns. Babies who need neonatal care usually go to the unit in the first few hours or days of life.

Read more: Your mental health needs to be taken care of if your baby is in the NICU.

PICU: Pediatric intensive care units, on the other hand, are designed for older children from a few weeks (> 4 weeks) or older, to 14 to 18 years of age, depending on hospital policy. However, the maximum age limit may not be clear. This is especially true if the patient has a persistent or chronic illness for a long time. For example, your child has been treated for cystic fibrosis in the past. and may continue to be cared for until age 20. Your child may also need PICU care for serious illnesses such as dengue, gastrointestinal pneumonia with breathing complications Diabetes-Related Complications Serious accidents such as head injuries or other situations

Premature babies will need intensive care. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Therefore, if the baby is born prematurely and needs special care Babies must be admitted to the NICU, not the PICU, as not all hospitals have neonatal units. In such a case Your baby will be sent to a nearby hospital with a dedicated NICU and then to a PICU as a newborn.

Simply put, the main difference between the two is the age of the child. While NICU is reserved for babies from birth to 1 month old, PICU is for children of all ages. Although the two may have slightly different equipment, PICUs require equipment to accommodate different sizes of children. However, there is no difference in level of care and follow-up. The couple will provide the best care for every child in every situation.

Leave a Comment