Does the incubator control mode influence outcomes of low-birth-weight neonates during the first days of life and at hospital discharge?


Background: The thermal environment surrounding neonates in closed incubators can be regulated via two different modes: skin servocontrol mode (SSC) and air temperature control mode (ATC). These produce different patterns of incubator air and infant body temperatures. Objective: To assess the effects of incubator control mode on clinical outcomes of low-birth-weight-infants during the first days of life and at hospital discharge. Methods: 52 low-birth-weight neonates were nursed over ten days in closed incubators functioning either with SSC mode (n = 29), or with ATC mode (n = 23). Results: The anthropomorphic characteristics of the two groups of neonates were homogenous (gestational age = 29.4 ± 1.4 vs. 29.9 ± 1.2 weeks and birthweight = 1214 ± 347 vs. 1263 ±292 gin the SSC-group and the ATC-group, respectively) and the caregiving (energy and fluid intakes, ventilator assistance and drug administration) did not differ statistically. Daily means of incubator air temperature were similar in the SSC and the ATC-group, however, the SSC mode resulted in more variable incubator air temperature but more stable skin abdominal temperature whereas the reverse was found when using the ATC mode. Those differences had no impact on the body weight of the neonates or their clinical outcomes at hospital discharge which were not statistically different. Conclusion: The clinical outcomes do not differ depending on the incubator control mode after the first ten days of life and at hospital discharge.

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Décima, P. , Stéphan-Blanchard, E. , Léké, A. , Dégrugilliers, L. , Delanaud, S. , Libert, J. and Tourneux, P. (2013) Does the incubator control mode influence outcomes of low-birth-weight neonates during the first days of life and at hospital discharge?. Health, 5, 6-13. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.58A4002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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