Neonatology is a subspecialty of paediatrics that consists of the medical care of newborn infants, especially the ill or premature newborns.

It is a hospital-based specialty and is usually practised in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The principal patients of neonatologists are newborn infants who are ill or require special medical care due to prematurity, low birth weight, intrauterine growth restriction, congenital malformations (birth defects), sepsis, pulmonary hypoplasia or birth asphyxia.


Rather than focusing on a particular organ system, neonatologists focus on the care of newborns who require Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitalization. They may also act as general paediatricians, providing well newborn evaluation and care in the hospital where they are based. Some neonatologists, particularly those in academic settings, may follow infants for months or even years after hospital discharge to better assess the long-term effects of health problems early in life. Some neonatologists perform clinical and basic science research to further our understanding of this special population of patients.

The infant is undergoing many adaptations to extrauterine life, and its physiological systems, such as the immune system, are far from fully developed. Diseases of concern during the neonatal period include:

⦁          Anaemia of prematurity

⦁          Apnea of prematurity

⦁          Atrial septal defect

⦁          Atrioventricular septal defect

⦁          Benign neonatal hem angiomatosis

⦁          Brachial plexus injury

⦁          Bronchopulmonary dysplasia

⦁          Cerebral palsy

⦁          CHARGE syndrome

⦁          Cleft palate

⦁          Coarctation of the aorta

⦁          Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

⦁          Congenital diaphragmatic hernia

⦁          Congenital heart disease

⦁          Diffuse neonatal hem angiomatosis

⦁          DiGeorge syndrome

⦁          Encephalocele

⦁          Gastroschisis

⦁          Hemolytic disease of the newborn

⦁          Hirschsprung disease

⦁          Hypoplastic left heart syndrome

⦁          Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

⦁          Inborn errors of metabolism

⦁          Intraventricular haemorrhage

⦁          Lissencephaly

⦁          Meconium aspiration syndrome

⦁          Necrotizing enterocolitis

⦁          Neonatal abstinence syndrome

⦁          Neonatal cancer

⦁          Neonatal jaundice

⦁          Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome

⦁          Neonatal lupus erythematosus

⦁          Neonatal conjunctivitis

⦁          Neonatal pneumonia

⦁          Neonatal tetanus

⦁          Neonatal sepsis

⦁          Neonatal bowel obstruction

⦁          Neonatal stroke

⦁          Neonatal diabetes mellitus

⦁          Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia

⦁          Neonatal herpes simplex

⦁          Neonatal hemochromatosis

⦁          Neonatal meningitis

⦁          Neonatal hepatitis

⦁          Neonatal hypoglycemia

⦁          Neonatal cholestasis

⦁          Neonatal seizure

⦁          Omphalocele

⦁          Patent ductus arteriosus

⦁          Perinatal asphyxia

⦁          Periventricular leukomalacia

⦁          Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn

⦁          Persistent truncus arteriosus

⦁          Pulmonary hypoplasia

⦁          Retinopathy of prematurity

⦁          Spina bifida

⦁          Spinal muscular atrophy

⦁          Supraventricular tachycardia

⦁          Tetralogy of Fallot

⦁          Total (or partial) anomalous pulmonary venous connection

⦁          Tracheoesophageal fistula

⦁          Transient tachypnea of the newborn

⦁          Transposition of the great vessels

⦁          Tricuspid atresia

⦁          Trisomy 13/18/21

⦁          VACTERL/VATER association

⦁          Ventricular septal defect

⦁          Vertically transmitted infections

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