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NeoWarm: Kangaroo Mother Care with Continuous Temperature Tracking

thesis
posted on 09.12.2021, 18:10 authored by Nicholas BluhmNicholas Bluhm

Premature birth is prevalent worldwide. More than 1 in 10 live births is premature. There are many complications that accompany premature birth, as essentially every body system is underdeveloped, one of the most impactful of these is hypothermia. Hypothermia is defined as a drop in core temperature below 36.5 ℃. Hypothermia is especially dangerous in premature neonates as this puts significant strain on their already underdeveloped body systems.

There are already many solutions to combat neonatal hypothermia. Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is a particularly good solution as it is effective at keeping the neonate warm, while also being a highly affordable and accessible treatment option. KMC is not without its drawbacks however, which we aim to remove through the use of NeoWarm. NeoWarm is essentially a baby carrier with integrated heating pads that has been designed to augment KMC. NeoWarm can be used during KMC or as a stand-alone thermal support device.

NeoWarm has been tested on two models. The first model was thin-walled water filled bottles the approximate size and weight of a premature neonate. Using this model NeoWarm’s design was refined and shown to be safe before testing on a live animal model.

Neonatal swine was chosen to be a premature human neonate model due to their many similarities, most importantly similar sizes, weights, and thermoregulatory capabilities. Using neonatal swine, it was shown that NeoWarm was effective at warming live hypothermic animals and was completely safe, as not a single animal was burned or otherwise harmed by NeoWarm.

History

Degree Type

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jacqueline Linnes

Additional Committee Member 2

Yunjie Tong

Additional Committee Member 3

Sherri Bucher