Vocabulary / Helpful Resources

This journey is forcing us to learn so much about medical tests, equipment, diagnosis and treatments and so I am keeping a summary of medical terms for reference. I have found many great resources from the hospital as well as website and will give credit to where I found the info. This is my list of vocabulary specific to our preemie boys' NICU journey.

Bilirubin: an orange-yellow pigment formed in the liver by the breakdown of hemoglobin and excreted in bile.

Blood Gas Test

Care Time


Complex Care Team

Dopamine: Medication used to treat low blood pressure

Echocardiogram: a test that uses ultrasound waves to view the action of the heart, used for the diagnosis or monitoring of the heart

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH): bleeding into the fluid-filled areas (ventricles) inside the brain. The condition occurs most often in babies that are born early (premature). Bleeding is most likely to occur in the first 10 days of life

Hematocrit: The ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood

Humidity Therapy

Jaundice: a medical condition with yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, arising from excess of the pigment bilirubin and typically caused by obstruction of the bile duct, by liver disease, or by excessive breakdown of red blood cells.

Kangaroo Care

Ligation: The surgical repair, also called PDA ligation, to close the open PDA with a clamp in order to prevent a surplus of blood from entering infants lungs. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia

NICU:  neonatal intensive care unit, also known as an intensive care nursery (ICN), An intensive care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants



Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart problem that occurs soon after birth in some babies. ... Before birth, the two major arteries-the aorta and the pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) artery-are connected by a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus. This vessel is an essential part of fetal blood circulation. PDA

Phototherapy is the most common treatment for reducing high bilirubin levels that cause jaundice in a newborn. In the standard form of phototherapy, your baby lies in a bassinet or enclosed plastic crib (incubator) and is exposed to a type of fluorescent light that is absorbed by your baby's skin.

Respiratory Rate





Complex Care Team


March of Dimes