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What lab tests will be done on my baby in the NICU?

Intermountain Registered Dietitians
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Many lab tests will be performed in the NICU to give your baby’s caregivers information about your baby’s condition. Blood samples may be taken and sent to the lab to measure the following:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) to measure the level of different cells in your baby’s blood
  • Newborn screening tests to check for some inherited disorders such as PKU and cystic fibrosis
  • Blood gases to check levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and acids in the blood
  • Blood cultures and C-reactive protein (CRP) to help check for infection
  • Chemical (electrolyte) balance
  • Blood sugar (glucose) level
  • Bilirubin level to check for jaundice
  • Hemoglobin/Hematocrit to check for anemia (an abnormally low number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in the blood). If the number is low, your baby may require a blood transfusion.

In the NICU, lab tests include blood gas tests, blood cultures and blood nutrition tests.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.