how well oxygen is being carried by the red blood cells in your bloodstream


giving a medication that makes you calm and sleepy

All patients and especially children who are on a mechanical ventilator to help their breathing require sedation and pain medicine to be comfortable. There are numerous medicines the members of the NICU team can use to ensure a child's comfort. Some children, due to their condition, require a medicine to relax their muscles and keep them from moving. This is called paralysis. Though the term paralysis is frightening and it may be strange to see your child not moving, the effects of the paralytic medicines are short lived.


your body's response to an infection

a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail



episode of apnea and/or bradycardia.


removing liquid or mucus by using a machine which sucks it away. This may be needed for your mouth and/or nose

If someone has an endotracheal tube (ET tube) in place, he or she may need assistance clearing secretions. In this case, the ET tube will be suctioned and a staff member will assist breathing using a bag connected to oxygen

sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

unexplained death, usually during sleep of a child under one year of age, also known as "crib death"


lung substance that coats the lungs to allow easy flow of air