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intermediate care

last week or so, benig graduated from intensive care in the NICU to intermediate care.

the intensive care room at the NICU is fairly dense; there are 6-8 incubators crammed into a room the size of half a volleyball court.  this is where the most premature babies first come, and where the very sick babies stay.  since these babies require constant care and monitoring, a single nurse is assigned only two babies to take care of.  the room is fairly loud, but not from crying, as most babies are too young to even be fussy.  instead, it sounds like a microwave is finished about every 10 seconds: all kinds of beeps ring when babies’ alarms signal high or low heart rates, desaturated o2 levels, or apnea spells.

the tight quarters and noise makes it a relief to move into intermediate care.  these rooms are about 50% larger but hold the same number of babies.  nurses in intermediate care are also assigned 3 babies each, so there are also fewer caregivers in the room.  since the babies tend to be more mature and healthier, there are fewer alarms going off and emergencies in the room.  still, it’s clearly a clinical place: there’s a central panel of LCD monitors showing baby stats for all the babies in the room.  makes it look like a baby stock exchange.

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