Testing and Lab Procedures for the Newborn in Intensive Care

Tests for a Newborn Baby in Intensive Care

Babies in the newborn intensive care
unit (NICU) are always being checked by their nurses and other healthcare providers. Your
baby will need many tests, most often blood tests. These are needed to help track your
baby’s health and to find possible problems.

Common tests your baby may have in the
NICU are:

  • Blood tests to check your baby’s blood group (A, B, O) and the Rh factor (positive or negative)

  • Blood tests to see if your baby has too few red blood cells (anemia) or too many red blood cells (polycythemia)

  • Blood tests that look for infection in your baby’s blood, urine, or spinal fluid

  • Blood tests to check how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in your baby’s blood

  • Blood tests to check your baby’s blood sugar (glucose) levels

  • Blood tests to check your baby’s electrolyte levels (magnesium, calcium, and potassium)

  • X-rays to check placement of tubes or view the condition of the lungs, heart, or abdomen

Because each baby’s needs are
different, the tests may be different. Always ask your baby’s healthcare provider for more
information about which tests are needed for your baby.