Glossary of Children's Hospital Terms

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NG or NasoGastric tube: A nasogastric tube is one that is passed through the nose down into the stomach.   The tube is flexible and made of rubber or plastic.  It can be used to remove the contents of the stomach including air, small solid objects, and fluid (poison). Or, it can also be used to send substances into the stomach (nutrients or medications) stomach when a patient cannot eat by mouth.

NJ or nasojejunal tube: Same type of tube as an NG but placed through the nose into the jejuneum (or small bowel).  It is used to provide nutrition.
NICU or Newborn/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: An intensive care unit designed for the care of premature and ill newborn babies.
NPO: An abbreviation meaning no food or drink by mouth.
Nausea: The urge to vomit or throw-up. It can be brought by many causes including, systemic illnesses, such as influenza, medications, pain, and inner ear disease.
Nebulizer: A device for administering a medication by spraying a fine mist into the nose and mouth. Also known as an atomizer.
Necrosis: The death of living cells or tissues. Necrosis can be due, for example, to ischemia (lack of blood flow).
Neonate: A newborn baby.
Neuralgia: Pain along the course of a nerve.
Neutropenia: meaning not enough neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that kills and digests microorganisms such as viruses.  The neutrophil has a lifespan of about 3 days. Neutropenia may be seen with viral infections or after radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  Being neutropenic lowers the barrier to infection-making a patient very susceptible.  Precautions like "no live flowers and mask/gown/ gloving" isolation help to keep potential infections down.
Neutrophil: A type of white blood cell that plays a major role in fighting bacterial and fungal infections.
Nitric Oxide: A gas given to a patient on the ventilator to help improve the ability of oxygen to cross into the blood stream when lungs are infected or damaged.
Normal sinus rhythm: The normal electrical pattern of the heartbeat.
Nutrition: The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods or nourishing substances for cell growth, energy and to fight infections.   Nutrition can be taken by mouth, IV, NJ, or NG tube.