148,541 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Medical Terms - Simple Index


When baby stops breathing for short periods of time

Brain haemorrhage

Bleeding in the brain caused by tears in the blood vessels and classified according to the severity.  Grade 1 is mild, Grade 2 is moderate, Grade 3  and 4 are severe


Cooling is used for a specific condition where the brain needs to be cooled down to prevent brain damage


Continuous positive airway pressure - breathing support given through baby’s nose

Extremely low birth weight

Birth weight less than 1000 grams (2lbs)

Extremely preterm

Less than 28 weeks in the womb


Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy - lack of oxygen and blood to the brain which is treated by cooling

High frequency ventilation

Small amounts of air are blown into the lungs very rapidly and your baby’s chest will appear to vibrate


Intravenous - a fine tube (called a drip or cannula) inserted into a tiny blood vessel usually in a hand, foot, arm or leg


A build-up of a chemical called bilirubin which often clears up on its own.  If levels are high, baby will be treated with phototherapy

Low birth weight

Birth weight less than 2500 grams (5lbs)

Moderate to late preterm

32-37 weeks in the womb



Magnetic resonance imaging.  A magnetic field is used to give pictures of internal organs and does not use radiation.  However, babies will be sedated before having an MRI to help them stay still


Necrotising enterocolitis is when tissues in the intestine become inflamed and begin to die.  A hole may develop which allows the contents of the intestine to leak into the abdomen and treatment could include surgery

Palliative care

This care is for babies and their families when the baby is recognised as having a life-threatening or life-limiting condition. It does not necessarily mean that your baby won’t survive


Patent ductus arteriosus is a common heart condition in babies and is due to the delayed closure of a small blood  vessel outside the heart


A treatment for jaundice where baby is placed naked under a blue light or on top of a light blanket

Positive pressure ventilation

Oxygen-enriched air is gently blown into the lungs via a tube that is passed through the mouth or nose.  The rate of breathing will be regularly adjusted to meet your baby’s needs


Born after at least 37 weeks in the womb


Total parenteral nutrition is a mixture of nutrients delivered through a tube into baby’s arm or leg

Ultrasound scan

Ultrasound waves are used to create a picture of what is happening inside the body. Ultrasound does not use radiation and you may be able to stay while this is being carried out


Breathing support given through baby’s windpipe

Very low birth weight

Birth weight less than 1500 grams (3lbs)

Very preterm

28-32 weeks in the womb