Radiant warmers are an alternative to a traditional incubator, used to regulate the body temperature of newborns. Newborn babies lose heat rapidly, so they are kept on a radiant warmer to monitor their body temperature. In very cold areas, newborns are kept in the warmer for an additional couple of hours after birth to ensure the baby stabilizes. In case of radiant warmer, the surface of the skin of the baby will be warm and this heat can be easily absorbed in the body.
At this time, once the body is warmed up, it does not mean that the outside air temperature is heated up as well. This is because there are no active heating sources outside the baby’s body to heat the air surrounding it. This device has become increasingly popular in the recent past due to its effectiveness. Still confused about infant’s radiant warmers then, let us clear your doubts.
A radiant warmer is a specially designed tray to warm pre-term or low birth weight babies, using radiant energy. The warmers are made with a heating source called quartz and a reflector that directs the quartz’s heat toward the baby. The temperature of the baby can be monitored using a thermometer attached to the baby’s body. A small LCD screen continuously displays the temperature reading.
It includes a temperature alarm that sounds when the desired temperature is reached. This feature helps medical professionals attending to the baby monitor heat loss or gain. The overall heat output of the warmer’s heating elements can be controlled manually or automatically, depending on the model and make. The device helps keep the baby’s body temperature at a constant level, enabling the baby to use energy more efficiently.
It can be manual or automatic. Manual models rely on a servo mechanism for controlling the heater; this type of heater is controlled based on a preset skin temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius. Automatic radiant warmers monitor the patient’s skin temperature and then adjust the output accordingly. In one model, the heat generated by the heater and the temperature of the skin can be monitored separately. In the other model, a predetermined increase in the heat output regulates the desired temperature of the body.
Although this instrument is relatively simple to use, it is important for the user to be properly trained and to read the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding its care and maintenance. The instrument should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Infant radiant warmers provide both heat and light. They are used to keep premature infants warm while they are being transported. These units generally include a temperature monitoring system, a heat source, a temperature sensor, a servo control unit, and alarms that are visual and audible. Radiant heating units provide a large amount of radiant heat energy.
Need of Radiant Warmer
Any preterm infant weighing less than 1000 grams should be cared for either in an incubator with radiant heat sources or in a servo-controlled double-walled incubator.
Use of Radiant Warmer
Radiant warmers create a localized artificial radiant heat source. When used, this device causes increased Conduction, evaporation, and insensible water loss. To minimize convective and evaporative heat loss, polyethylene film can be used with a radiant warmer.
How does Work?
The baby warmer has a temperature probe that connects to the machine. The probe informs the warmer of your baby’s temperature, thereby allowing it to adjust to fit your child’s changing needs. In newborns, the heart rate slows down when the body temperature drops. Leaving open beds in delivery rooms allows medical staff to quickly warm the baby.
Care of Baby under Radiant Warmer
- The following hourly monitoring procedures are needed when a baby is receiving radiant warmer therapy. The room temperature must be 22 oC.
- To clean the mattress and platform, remove the linen sheet and wash it in the washing machine. Replace the sheet on the platform and the mattress.
- Before transferring a baby from the delivery room to the intensive care warmer, turn it on at least fifteen minutes beforehand so that the linen and mattress are already warm when you place the baby on them.
- After receiving the newborn from the radiant warmer, quickly attach the skin probe as follows:
- Place the probe on the right hypochondriac region if the baby is in a supine position.
- To obtain an accurate measurement, place the probe on the loin area.
- If the temperature in the infant incubator falls below the preset level, the heater will increase its output. If the infant’s temperature is at a set temperature or higher, it will stop heating.
- Check for proper probe placement every hour while the baby is in servo mode. In probe displacement, the probe is displaced from its normal position in a cavity.
- Please adjust your heater output according to the neonate’s temperature (servo mode).
Use maximum temperature for rapid warming of the bassinet. Decrease output to 25 to 75% after 10 minutes, depending on ambient temperature.
The heater output is greater than 80%, and the appliance activates its over-temperature alarm within 15 to 20 min and maintains the heater output at 40%.
The heating unit was silenced for another 15 to 20 minutes as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. And do not use 100% full heater output when unsupervised.
These warmers devices are simple to use, very effective, and commonly found in most neonatal intensive care units. These thermal warmers are used to regulate the body temperature of newborns. These devices are also used in a variety of other settings such as pre-term babies and full-term babies in general pediatric wards.
There are various sizes and shapes of these heat warmers available at online and offline medical stores. Radiant heat warmers are very useful in making sure that the baby remains warm and does not catch any kind of infection. If you are thinking to invest in a radiant warmer, you will have to make sure which brand is better than the other and which product gives you more benefits.