Babies in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) are always being checked by their nurses and other health care providers. Your baby will need many tests, especially blood tests. They are necessary to help track your baby's health and to find possible problems.
Common tests or lab work 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
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
Each baby's needs and care is different. Always ask your baby's health care provider for more information about which tests are needed for your baby.