Posts Tagged ‘isolette’

Was your baby in a radiant warmer or isolette?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

isoletteWhen a baby born early is in the NICU, it’s usually because he needs to be closely monitored in a safe, protected environment so he can continue to develop like he would if he were still inside Mom. This high level of care can’t happen in the cute nursery you have set up at home. That has to wait until later.

Since premature babies cannot regulate their body temperature well, they often are placed in a radiant warmer for a couple of days. This odd-looking open bed may not look like it will do much, but a special sensor taped to the baby’s skin keeps track of his body temperature and adjusts the heat around him as needed. The openness of the bed allows easy access for medical attention during constant monitoring.

Once stabilized, babies usually are transferred to an isolette. This plexiglass box is an incubator that protects the baby from temperature fluctuations in the room. It has portholes on the sides for medical staff to reach through in order to provide different treatments, diaper changes, etc. One wall of the isolette can be unhinged to provide complete access to the baby. As in the radiant warmer, the temperature within the isolette is regulated in accordance with the baby’s temperature needs. Some isolettes also provide moist, humidified air to prevent the baby’s environment from becoming too dry.

Many parents of a baby in the NICU want to decorate their baby’s isolette, make it personal. In time, that will be a great idea, but in the beginning babies often can’t handle any extra stimulation. Very tiny babies may not even be able to handle being touched for the first week or so. It’s hard for parents to see their baby in such a sterile environment. Items such as a special isolette cover, a stuffed animal or family photo can provide a touch of home. By talking with the NICU staff caring for their baby, parents will learn when and how much of a personal touch will be best for their little one.

If you had a baby in the NICU, how long was it before you were able to personalize your baby’s bed?

Rescuing preemies

Monday, November 5th, 2012

tiny-handBlessings to all the courageous men and women who rescued delicate premature babies from a failing neonatal ICU during the devastating throws of hurricane Sandy.

In a normal NICU hospital setting, highly trained doctors, nurses, therapists and other professionals monitor a baby’s every breath. These fragile beings are totally dependent on all of us for regulating their breathing, body heat, heart rate, and nutrition and it can be a tricky balancing act in the best of times. Here is a link to just some of the many things related to life in the NICU.    How frightening it must have been for everyone to see the mechanical systems failing. That’s where the trained and compassionate medical personnel really shone.

It took multiple people to transfer the isolettes, oxygen, monitors. They needed to be carried down multiple flights of stairs, into the stormy night to waiting ambulances to carrying them to safety. Some babies were tucked skin-to-skin against a nurses warm body (kangaroo care) to keep them warm. Can you imagine being the parent of one of these fragile babies?

If you or a friend or family member experienced the added anxiety of having a baby in a NICU during last week’s storm, or in the power outages that have followed, please feel free to share your story with us and others. How are you coping? What would you like to hear from others and what suggestions do you have?

Please remember that November is Prematurity Awareness Month and November 17th is World Prematurity Day.   Please join the March of Dimes in our efforts to spread the word about the seriousness of premature birth. And don’t forget to thank the docs and nurses you meet for their amazing and caring work.

Baby’s bed in the NICU

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

isolette2When a baby is born early and is in the NICU, it’s usually because he needs to be closely monitored in a safe, protected environment so he can continue to develop like he would if he were still inside Mom. This can’t happen in the cute nursery waiting at home.

Since premature babies cannot regulate their body temperature well, they often are placed in a radiant warmer for a couple of days. This special open bed may not look like it will do much, but a special sensor taped to the baby’s skin keeps track of his temperature and adjusts the heat around him as needed. The openness of the bed allows easy access for medical attention during constant monitoring.

Once stabilized, babies usually are transferred to an isolette. This plexiglass box is an incubator that protects the baby from temperature fluctuations in the room. It has portholes on the sides for medical staff to reach through in order to provide different treatments, diaper changes, etc. One wall of the isolette can be unhinged to provide complete access to the baby. As in the radiant warmer, the temperature within the isolette is regulated in accordance with the baby’s temperature needs. Some isolettes also provide moist, humidified air to prevent the baby’s environment from becoming too dry.

Many parents of a baby in the NICU want to decorate their baby’s isolette, make it personal. In time, that will be a great idea, but in the beginning babies just can’t handle any extra stimulation. Very tiny babies may not even be able to handle being touched for the first week or so. It’s hard for parents to see their baby in such a sterile environment. Items such as a special isolette cover, a stuffed animal or family photo can provide a touch of home. By talking with the NICU staff caring for their baby, parents will learn when and how much of a personal touch will be best for their little one.

If you had a baby in the NICU, how long was it before you were able to personalize your baby’s bed?