Premature babies or those born with much less weight than normal find it difficult to adjust to the external environment, immediately after being delivered. These infants stand the risk of catching various infections, and hence they need to be isolated and kept in incubators. Incubators provide intensive care to these babies and maintain suitable temperature and environmental conditions for healthy survival.
Which babies are kept in incubators?
- Premature babies:
Premature babies are weak and underdeveloped. They cannot cope up and sustain the conditions outside the womb, and hence require extra care.
- Babies with very less weight:
New born babies who are underweight are also very weak and susceptible to various diseases. They need a lot of care and vigilance, and thus need to be kept in incubators.
- Babies suffering from some illness:
Some infants might have infections or ailment that need intensive care and monitoring. Such babies are also kept in incubators for recovery and also to safeguard them from further infections or ailments.
There are five different types of incubators for babies and infants:
1. Portable and non-portable
2. Open box
3. Close type
4. Double walled
5. Servo controlled
They have varied facilities and functions for maintaining and providing suitable conditions to the baby. These facilities include:
- Oxygenation: Providing the required amount of oxygen to the infant via oxygen control valves
- Observation: The baby is kept under observation. The incubator provides detailed measurement of respiration, temperature, brain activity, oxygenation etc.
- Isolation and protection: Placing the baby in an incubator isolates it from external infections, noise, and climate. Incubators provide the required warmth and lessen the exposure of newborns to germs and other external factors.
- Providing required nutrition: The baby can be provided with the required nutrition inside an incubator through intravenous catheter or NG tube for fast recovery and development.
- Medicines: A baby needs regular medication, which can be easily and effectively provided in incubators.