COMBINING KANGAROO CARE WITH AN INFANT INCUBATOR
In the past semester, the team — The Initiative — has made significant strides in the development of its project. As part of the restructuring of the team, it was partitioned into four sub teams. An iteration of the bassinet has been developed that will house the electrically-powered heating element to regulate the temperature of the infant when the caregiver removes and places the kangaroo mother care component of the device into the bassinet. Further iterations are under consideration for next semester as the team continues to plan and prepare for its trip to their country of interest, Ethiopia.
To globally eliminate mortality in low birth weight infants and provide families the opportunity to grow and thrive.
Infant mortality has been a prolonging issue in the world, primarily in third world countries. Each year, more than 1 million babies die on the day they are born, 98% of which occur in the developing world. However, most of the causes are preventable, including hypothermia, if given the proper attention.
Kangaroo care by the mother to the newborn has been shown to decrease the rate of infant mortality by primarily stabilizing the baby’s heart rate and increasing the overall well being of the infant. However, many of the current infant incubators and other infant warming devices lack this aspect of care. The Initiative plans to combine this method with an incubator-like device to create a sustainable, low cost hybrid infant warmer for developing areas in the world. The hybrid infant warmer will have the functionality of the incubator in being a stand-alone warmer as well as a wearable aspect. Our team is working on prototyping and testing this warmer device throughout the 2016-2017 year as well as planning travel to meet our community partners in Ethiopia in the coming summer.