Every day medical professionals face new challenges as they work to care for their patients. Among the many concerns they have to worry about is ensuring that newborn infants are healthy and comfortable. One way that hospitals maintain infant health is by using Radiant Warmers. They are hospital beds with an overhead warmer that heats infants using infrared light. These warmers were created to provide consistent and effective warming for premature and low birth-weight infants who cannot regulate their own body temperature yet.
NECESSITY OF INFANT WARMERS IN NEONATAL CARE UNITS
Hypothermia is a major cause for infant mortality. Excess loss of heat from the body of neonates leads to increase in overall metabolism, glucose utilisation and oxygen consumption along with metabolic acidosis in severe circumstances which leads to reduced oxygen supply to heart and other tissues of the body, thereby contributing to infant death. In order to avoid all such complications, the newborns especially the premature and low birth weight babies are immediately provided with assistance to maintain normal body temperature. The neonates are dried, wet clothes removed and then placed inside a radiant warmer to heat them up.
These ICU warmers are an open system which help in maintaining normal body temperature of the infant. It consists of an overhead warmer containing quartz which generates heat. A reflector is placed so as to direct the heat generated towards the crib in which neonate is placed. A skin probe is attached to the infant’s abdomen to continuously monitor the body temperature and raise alarm whenever there is deflection from the normal values in case of a manual type or to automatically alter the heat generation to attain the set temperature range in case of an automatic one. It creates a warm environment around the neonate thus reducing heat loss by conduction.
ASSESSING THE CLINICAL EFFECTIVENESS OF INTENSIVE CARE WARMERS
Neonatal warmers help to maintain the body temperature of infants. They work by emitting infrared waves, which are then absorbed by the skin. This helps to improve blood circulation and prevents heat loss. Most of these warmers are generally considered to be safe and effective. The use of radiant warmer has evidently reduced complications and infant mortality due to hypothermia. The major advantage of using these warmers is that it allows quick access to the baby without disrupting the surrounding warm environment. It is particularly useful in babies who need intensive care and who require regular invasive procedures.
Studies conducted on the effectiveness of these warmers show that they are successful in maintaining a consistent body temperature in infants and thus improve the health outcomes of these vulnerable infants. There are a variety of such equipment on the market, each with different features, but all share the common goal of providing safe and effective warmth for premature and low birth-weight infants.
Although these warmers have been found to be effective in maintaining infant health, further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of using these devices. Additionally, future studies should investigate whether there are any differences in the effectiveness of such warmers among different racial and ethnic groups.
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