Infant Care: Infant Warmers and Incubators

In any neonatal intensive care unit, the presence of an infant radiant warmer and incubator and ventilator is a necessity. These devices are essential for proper care of newborn infants, especially in the case of premature babies and babies with health complications.

Newborn infants are unable to regulate their body temperature and are at risk of losing body temperature due to evaporation of amniotic fluid from the infant’s skin. The stresses from temperature loss can lead to the infant developing respiratory distress, hypoxia and other long-term ailments.

The mechanisms for infant warmers and incubators differ in how they provide warmth to infants. Infant warmers are equipped with an overhead heat lamp and a heated mattress to provide warmth. These devices are designed to provide warmth from underneath the infant. Infant warmers provide easy access to newborns who require critical medical attention while ensuring the thermal environment is undisturbed.

The closed enclosures of infant incubators provide greater control over the ambient temperature around the infant. The enclosure also provides protection for airborne irritants and allergens that could pose a danger to the infant. The overall environment created by the enclosure facilitates healthy growth for premature babies.

Infant warmers and incubators both play an essential role in any maternity ward and patient wellbeing. The differing functionalities of the devices cater to the diverse needs of the healthcare centre and patients. Infant warmers provide better access to the patients while incubators provide a stable and safe environment for healthy growth.

Infants who cannot breathe on their own need to be connected to external breathing support. The mechanical ventilation in neonate is a complex procedure, where the lung protection of infants is of utmost priority in addition to the oxygenation. High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) is a dedicated mode in the ventilator, for those neonates and infants who cannot be adequately ventilated by conventional invasive or noninvasive modes.

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