AFO - Ankle-Foot
Amniotic Sac (Amnion) -
A thin, tough, membranous sac
that encloses the embryo or fetus of a mammal, bird, or reptile. It is filled
with a serous fluid in which the embryo is suspended.
Apnea - Lack
of breathing for longer than 15 or 20 seconds. It's common in preemies, whose
brains aren't fully developed. The muscles that control breathing depend
on the brain for instructions on when to take the next breath. The brain
of a preemie sometimes makes mistakes and doesn't get the right message to the
Aspiration - breathing
of material into the windpipe or lungs, or removal of material from the
windpipe or lungs by suction.
) - Damage
to the lungs and bronchioles caused by the respirator.
Bagging - A
procedure used to temporarily help a patient breathe. A mask is placed
on the patient's face and an air bag is pumped to give the patient air.
Benign - a
growth or tumor that is not cancerous; one that does not usually invade and
destroy neighboring tissue or spread to other parts of the body.
Bilateral - Having
or formed of two sides.
Bilirubin - A
yellowish substance produced when red blood cells break down. It may
cause jaundice, a yellowing of the skin.
Blood gases - A
measurement of the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acid in the patient's
blood. These measurements are needed to make adjustments in how much
oxygen the patient should receive.
Bradychardia - A
slower than normal heartbeat rate. In an infant, this is below 100 beats
CAT (CT) Scan - a
special x-ray test that allows a view of a specific part of the body from
various angles. Sometimes a dye is injected into the body through a vein
to get a better view.
Cancer - the
general term for diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal
cells; also called malignant neoplasm or malignancy.
Catheter - A
thin tube used to give fluids to the body or to drain fluids from the body.
Catheter - a small hollow flexible tube which is
inserted into a large vein to be used for taking blood samples or giving blood
products or medications.
Chemotherapy - medicines
used to treat a disease, especially cancer. Chemotherapy is used to destroy
cells the cancer cells and/or keep them from reproducing.
- The baby's actual age in months and days.
CPAP - An
abbreviation for Continuous Airway Pressure, which helps the patient maintain
necessary pressure in the lungs.
Cyst - An
abnormal membranous sac containing a gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substance.
- The age the baby would be if born on or near the due
- A thin plastic tube inserted into the baby's trachea
(windpipe). This allows air and/or oxygen to be sent into the lungs.
Edema - an
accumulation of fluids within the body's tissues.
Extubation - the
removal of the endotracheal tube.
Fetus - The
developing unborn child from the 12th week of pregnancy until the date of
Fungus - an
organism that can cause serious infections.
Tube (G Tube) - a tube surgically placed into the
stomach. Use to give high calorie formulas.
Gestational Age - The
unborn baby's age in weeks from the first day of the mother's last menstrual
period before conception until the baby reaches term (40 weeks).
Hydrocephalus - A
usually congenital condition in which an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the
cerebral ventricles causes enlargement of the skull and compression of the
brain, destroying much of the neural tissue.
- Yellow jaundice. Excess bilirubin in the blood.
This condition is common in newborns.
Venous Access Device (IVAD) - a small device called
a port which is placed beneath the skin and is used to deliver medications
into the bloodstream. A type of central
Immune System - a
complicated network of cells and organs that defends the body against attacks
from invaders such as bacteria and viruses.
Intubate - A
procedure used to put a tube through the patient's mouth or nose into the
windpipe. This tube is then attached to the equipment which assists breathing.
Intravenous (IV) - A
tube or a needle placed into a vein to allow the infusion of fluids into the
Hemorrhage (IVH) - Bleeding within the ventricles
of the brain. The ventricles are small chambers in the center of the brain.
Isolette - A
type of incubator. An enclosed heated bed.
Jaundice - a
yellowish color of the skin and white portion of the eyes which is usually
associated with liver problems.
Lanugo - Fine,
downy hair that covers the body of the unborn baby.
MRI - an
abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, sometimes called NMR (Nuclear
Magnetic Resonance); a special diagnostic test that uses a magnetic field to
view the internal parts of the body; there is no x-ray delivered to patients.
Malignant - Tending
to metastasize; cancerous; threatening to life; virulent.
Metastasis - the
spread of cancer from its original site to other parts of the body.
Monitors - Machines
that record signs such as the baby's heartbeat, blood pressure and
NICU - Neonatal
intensive care unit. The section of the hospital with trained staff and
special equipment to care for critically ill newborns.
N.P.O - an
abbreviation meaning that the patient must have nothing by mouth, in other
words, nothing to eat or drink.
Tube (NG Tube) - a thin tube placed into the
stomach by way of the nose. Used to give high calorie formulas.
Neonatologist - a
pediatrician with special training in the care of sick and preterm babies.
Neurosurgeon - surgeon
specializing on any part of the nervous system.
OT (Occupation Therapist,
Occupational Therapy) - Use of productive or creative
activity in the treatment or rehabilitation of physically or emotionally
Oncologist - a
physician who specializes in the study of cancer.
Oncology - the
study of cancer.
Ophthalmalogist - a
surgeon who specializes in the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy,
functions, pathology, and treatment of the eye.
Orthopedics - Branch
of medicine that deals with the prevention or correction of injuries or
disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints and ligaments.
Orthosis - a
device or appliance which assists residual weakened motor power or substitutes
appropriate mechanisms for total loss of motor power;
protects the body part from pain or potential
deformity; and corrects an existing deformity.
Orthotics - The
science that deals with the use of specialized mechanical devises to support
or supplement weakened or abnormal joints or links.
Oxygen Hood - A
plastic box which fits over the baby's head. Through this box oxygen may be
given to the baby.
Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) - A condition common in
premature babies, where the fetal blood vessel remains open after birth.
P.O. - an
abbreviation meaning that food or medication should be given by mouth.
Paralysis - (a)
loss or impairment of the ability to move a body part, usually as a result of
damage to a nerve supply. (b) loss of sensation over a region of the body.
Pathology - The
scientific study of the nature of disease and its causes, processes,
development, and consequences.
Pediatrician - a
physician with special training in the care of infants and children.
Phototherapy - Light
therapy. Treatment of infants with hyperbilirubinemia (yellow jaundice) by
exposing them to bright lights.
(Premature Infant, preterm birth) - a baby born
before the 37th week of pregnancy. A term infant is one born between the
38th and 42nd weeks of gestation.
outcome of a disease, including the chance of recovery.
Pulmonary - Of,
relating to, or affecting the lungs.
Pulmonary Artery - The
blood vessel that carries non-oxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs.
Pulseoximeters - Machines
that record the patient's oxygen level.
Radiation - the
application of high powered x-rays to a certain part of the body in order to
kill or injure the cancer cells. Often radiation is used along with
chemotherapy to treat cancer.
Relapse - return
of cancer after there has been no evidence of its presence in the body or
Remission - complete
or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of a disease; the period of
time during which a disease is under control.
Respirator - A
ventilator machine which breathes for a patient unable to do so alone.
Distress Syndrome (RDS) - A breathing disorder in
premature babies caused by a baby's immature lungs and inability to produce
Therapist - an individual trained to assist in the
operation of respirators and perform procedures which assist a patient's
breathing and oxygen intake.
Room Air (RA) - the
air we normally breathe that contains 21% oxygen.
RGO ( Reciprocating Gait
Orthosis) - A sophisticated brace commonly used in
children with high level spina bifida who are beyond toddler years. It enables
reciprocal walking in which one leg is planted while the other swings. Walking
is slow, but requires little energy.
Sibling - brother
(Ultrasound) - a test which outlines the shape of specific organs in
the body by the use of sound waves rather than x-ray.
Social Worker - an
individual who has received special training to help families deal with their
reactions to having a sick baby and to help them make necessary housing,
transportation, and financial arrangements.
Spina Bifida - A
congenital defect in which the spinal column is imperfectly closed so that
part of the meninges or spinal cord protrudes, often resulting in
hydrocephalus and other neurological disorders.
Spinal Tap - a
technique for removing a small amount of the fluid that bathes the brain and
spinal cord; also called a lumbar puncture (LP).
Spinal Cord - part
of the central nervous system extending from the base of the skull through the
vertebrae of the spinal column. It is continuous with the brain stem, and like
the brain it is encased in a triple sheath of membranes. Thirty-one pairs of
spinal nerves arise from the sides of the spinal cord. The spinal cord carries
information from the body's nerves to the brain and signals from the brain to
Strabismus - A
visual defect in which one eye cannot focus with the other on an objective
because of imbalance of the eye muscles.
(Total Parental Nutrition) - a solution containing
vitamins, minerals, sugar, electrolytes, lipids and proteins to support the
patient's nutritional needs. Solutions are given through an I.V. or
central venous catheter.
Transfusions - administration
of blood or blood products through an I.V. or central venous catheter.
Tumor - An
abnormal growth of tissue resulting from uncontrolled, progressive
multiplication of cells and serving no physiological function; a
neoplasm. A tumor can be benign or malignant.
Ultrasound (aka Sonogram)
- a test which outlines the shape of specific organs in
the body by the use of sound waves rather than x-ray.
Urologist - Surgeon
dealing with diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the urinary tract and
VCUG - a study of the bladder
and the urethra. While you lie on an x-ray table, a catheter is paced in
the bladder and a clear contrast is run through the catheter. X-ray pictures
are taken. This test takes approximately 30 minutes.
Ventilator - Respirator.
A breathing machine.
Walker - A
frame device use to support someone, such as an infant learning to walk or a
convalescent learning to walk again.
Warmer bed - an
open bed with overhead warmers which help them maintain their body
temperature. This type of bed makes it easier for the nursery staff to
help the baby in case the baby needs help breathing.
White Blood Cells -
also called leukocytes. White blood cells are
important in fighting infection; they are often decreased in number by
chemotherapy. Normal white blood cells include: polys, bands, segs,
neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils.