Author: Cynthia Perez

Status: Project Concept

Parent and NICU Baby Interaction: Enhanced Kangaroo Care Abstract
Author: Cynthia Perez
Premature and sick newborns are sometimes overlooked when it comes to the advanced medical technology aspect of health treatment. The new and innovative inventions that will help the well being of many adults and toddlers, will not be beneficial to those babies that are so much smaller and sensitive. Because they are so fragile and attached to so many machines and tubes, it’s hard for caretakers and parents to touch and hold their baby. Kangaroo care, or skin to skin, was created to help neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) parents have time to participate in skin to skin contact with their baby even though they are in a incubator with other tubes. This source of care is difficult because it’s hard enough for a parent to see their baby sick with a lot of tubes attached, but the fear of disconnect or hurting the baby is a barrier to their parenting instincts. Fortunately with new technology today, there could be less tubes that could not only be more comfortable for the baby but could be easier for the parents and nurses to participate in kangaroo care. The technology that would innovate the NICU is already invented, it just needs to modified. Technology like the airing CPAP, ihealth blood pressure cuff, the owlet smart sock, temptraq, and the electrode body sensor networks, are all wireless devices that help the patient breath and track blood pressure, heart rate, oxygenation levels, body temperature, and EEG/ECG electrodes. Not only are these wireless, but they are also bluetooth which can make it easier for nurses to connect all the devices on one computer or tablet to monitor all the vitals at the same time. These devices are perfect for the NICU but sadly some of them are not compatible with premature babies. They need to be modified to be smaller, and designed to not damage the integrity of their sensitive skin. The Airing CPAP, ihealth blood pressure cuff, owlet smart sock, and the temptraq needs to be in much smaller sizes to fit babies as small as 22 weeks. Next all devices need to be modified to be soft on their skin. The CPAP needs to have room between the device and the columella of the nose; the temptraq, ihealth blood pressure cuff and electrodes need to stick and stay on to the baby’s skin that can easily taken off. These modifications could be a huge innovative step in the NICU.