One of the great advances in neonatology has been the invention of the incubator or incubator at the end of the nineteenth century. Before this machine came into being, cooling was one of the leading causes of death for premature babies. Simply surrounded by cotton and warmed by hot water bottles, babies born before the term were mostly convicted.
Infant incubator provide warmth to help an infant maintain a normal body temperature. Incubators warm the infant by a forced or natural flow of heated air. This apparatus consists of a closed and glazed enclosure, in which the atmosphere heated to a suitable temperature contains oxygen in a quantity greater than that of the ambient air. It has on the other hand, a slight ventilation. Handling of the baby is possible (feeding by the bottle when possible, caresses, hygiene.) Thanks to the presence of orifices provided with glove boxes, and allowing to penetrate the hands inside the cabin .
The incubators are made of a transparent material that allows the baby to be watched, who is completely undressed. It is necessary to respect the nycthemeral rhythm (duration of twenty-four hours, which corresponds to the biological cycle and the alternation of the day and the night) of the child. For this, the caregiver regularly covers the incubator, thus reducing light aggression. This gesture also has the effect of respecting the sleep-wake rhythm of the child.
The incubator is especially indicated for premature infants, and newborns with low birth weight.
The role of the incubator
The incubator is not a sterile bubble, it above all allows the baby to protect himself from the cold. Your newborn baby is, in fact, not yet mature enough to regulate its temperature. It needs to be warm, this is the main function of the incubator, also called incubator. Te baby will be placed if he needs it, from birth in this warm environment, but also wet to ensure optimal hydrometry and closer to the conditions of the maternal uterus. Finally, this incubator, consisting of a transparent glass wall, generally rounded, is a protective place that can isolate your child microbes and observe the baby.
The incubator, without being completely sterile, provides protection against the different infectious agents. It is equipped with openings that allow you to handle infants. The medical team will be vigilant that you wash your hands thoroughly.
Type of Incubator
There are two types of incubators: open or closed. You will notice mostly closed models, consisting of a bubble of plastic and which guarantee a constant temperature inside.
The open models consist of a table / mattress, not covered, surmounted by a radiant lamp for heat. They are called radiant incubators. They make it easier to access the newborn for certain types of care.