Neuro Care of Micro-Preemies

  1. Hey Ladies & Gents!

    I work in a 70-some bed NICU, Level IIIc. We do basically everything here including ECMO, although I do not work with that critical of kiddos. However, I have worked with my fair share of 26 weekers and up and those kiddos are why I am trying to revise one of our policies.
    As you all know, these kiddos are at a high risk of developing intraventricular hemorrhages. We have a handy developmental care chart that helps us know what we should and shouldn't do with these kiddos and older babes as well.
    The part of this chart/policy that I am focusing on is the position in which these babies should be, as far as head positioning, elevation of HOB, and how we do our cares.
    Currently, for any kiddo born 28 weeks and younger, they are to be flat (HOB) and midline (chin lining up with umbilicus) for the first two weeks of life. These are obviously done as a preventative measure against IVH.
    However, many nurses, nurse practitioners, and even doctors, believe that this 'flat and midline' means HOB flat, head midline, and supine.
    Myself and other nurses have issues with this misunderstanding, since it can greatly affect our babes. For example, I had a 28 weeker (born at 26 weeks) who was having feeding/residual issues. He had been supine consistently. I log rolled him and placed him on his right side, still midline, to help with digestion.
    I know some of the nurse practitioners are unsure as to what is correct, and I know some nurses who believe that the baby can be on its side and midline but refuse to do it because they're afraid they'll get in trouble.
    So what I am trying to do is research what is best for baby. Supine or turnable? HOB flat or elevated? I also want to add really clustering cares, limiting suctioning as much as possible, and not elevating their lower half with diaper changes.
    I have found some information but not a lot. I've only been looking at 2009 and newer research. Can I go earlier? What is your NICUs policy?
    I've seen powerpoints from other NICUs and EBP projects which are usually really helpful but I've only found 2 of those.
    So if you can help me with this, that would be awesome! I'm ready for this post to be lit up with information!!
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    About LOVEnicuRN

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 10
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 1y9m year(s) of experience


  3. by   NBmomto2
    Just a quick post as I head out, but check into what they call, 'the Golden Hour' for premies. This relates to protecting from bleeds as well as regulation of temp, lungs, etc, during those first hours of life.

    Will post more later.
  4. by   NicuGal
    We keep their head midline with the umbilicus for 72 hours. Our HOB is elevated per our VAP protocol. We slide diapers in and out, we put cotton balls or gauze in the groin to catch urine. We also go to every 6 hours hands on care and every 6-8 hour suctioning since RDS really doesn't produce too many secretions. We also do not take them off the vent unless absolutely necessary. Minimal stim.