Infant Radiant Warmer

Radiant warmers (and incubators) are used to maintain the body temperature of new-born infants. This is done to minimize the energy that is required for metabolic heat production.
Hypothermia at birth is one of the most important risk factors for new-born mortality.


Radiant warmers are often used:

to stabilize infants following delivery room resuscitation,

for procedures which cannot be done in the confined space of an incubator,

for transportation of the infant for surgical interventions.

 

How it works

The heat output of radiant warmers is usually regulated by servo-control to keep the skin temperature constant at a site on the abdomen where a thermistor probe is attached. Compared with incubators, the partition of body heat loss is quite different under radiant warmers. Radiant warmers increase convective and evaporative heat loss and insensible water loss but eliminate radiant heat loss or change it to net gain.
Its major disadvantage is the increase in insensible water loss produced by the radiant
warmer. ‘Insensible’ water loss (‘insensible’ because we are not aware of it) refers to water
loss due to:

water that passes through the skin and is lost by evaporation,

water loss through breathing out


Maintenance

1. Ongoing (preventive) maintenance is the key to increase the mean time between failures. The hospital biomedical engineer must regularly checke quipment but the authorized company engineer must be called for preventive checks and major breakdowns. The control and power units should be calibrated every 4-6 months and thorough servicing should be
done annually.

2. Disinfection: when the equipment is in use, all external surfaces should be
cleaned daily with an antiseptic solution. Spirit or other organic solvents
must not be used to clean the glass side panels or display panel. For
disinfection of the reusable probe, an isopropyl alcohol swab should be used.

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