We love warming babies and recently put together this chart summarizing the different tools and methods available to warm babies. Check it out to see how we compare to one another! Thank you Summer 2020 interns Cahil Potnis, Neha Satish, and Brett Cesar for making this landscape and Cahil for drafting the competitive landscape summaries. #SpreadtheWarmth #SaveLives
The Warmilu IncuBlanket generates non-electric, safe, and long-lasting warmth. The IncuBlanket is designed to thermoregulate babies at risk for hypothermia. The blanket serves as an additional form of warmth to traditional incubators, a transport incubator, and/or as a supplement to kangaroo mother care. The InstaWarmer pack in the IncuBlanket generates warmth instantly with the click of a disk and can be reused up to 100 times. Warmilu heating packs can provide up to 8 hours of warmth. The pack uses non-toxic phase change warming pack materials.
An incubator is a device typically used in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) which serves to maintain optimal environmental conditions for a newborn infant. Incubators use electricity to produce heat and maintain interior temperatures. As long as an incubator is connected to electricity, it can provide warmth to infants.
Skin-to-Skin (Kangaroo) Mother Care involves skin-to-skin contact between the parent and their baby. This provides the baby with a natural source of warmth that is reusable, long lasting, and safe. Since KMC requires the parent to be present, it may not always be an available source of heat such as when the infant or parent requires healthcare. However, unlike other heating methods, it allows the mother and infant to bond over an extended period of time.
Battery-powered blankets utilize a rechargeable battery to generate heat. This allows for the blanket to be reused and provides instant warmth, due to its use of electricity. However, because of the high temperature produced, it may not be safe for infants and newborns to fall asleep on.
Electric blankets are blankets that generates warmth when connected to a continuous electric power source such as an outlet or generator. This allows for the blanket to be reusable and provide instant warmth to its users. However, due to the high temperature produced, it may not be safe for infants and newborn to fall asleep upon electric blankets. As long as an electric blanket is connected to a power source, it can produce heat.
Embrace blankets are portable and safe infant blankets that do not need a continuous power supply to operate. They need electricity or a source of hot water to charge, but are still reusable. They require a relatively long time to heat up, but provide an adequate level of warmth. Embrace blankets must be used immediately after heating the heat pack.
Reflective Mylar blankets, also called solar blankets, are blankets that serve to reflect one’s body heat towards them and gradually heat up over time. They are non-electric, which makes them safe to fall asleep on for infants. Due to the way in which they reflect heat, they do not provide instant warmth and are generally only one-time use (non-reusable). They do not hold heat.
Rice Bag warming packs hold dry rice which, when heated in a microwave, hold a large amount of heat. They are non-electric and can be reused many times before needing replacement. However, they do not provide instant warmth due to the need for external microwave heating. They are not safe for infants to fall asleep on due to the high temperature produced. Finally, they only emit heat for two hours.
Sodium acetate trihydrate (SAT) packs contain a solution of sodium acetate trihydrate and water which, when going through a phase change, generates heat. This allows for the pack to generate instant warmth without the use of electricity. They are not long lasting and the packs are not rechargeable, often breaking if reused. Therefore, SAT packs are generally a one-time use (non-reusable) pack. Additionally, due to the high level of heat generated without a thermal buffer, they are not safe for infants to fall asleep upon. SAT packs produce heat for approximately two and a half hours.
The Transwarmer Mattress is a disposable gel-filled mattress that instantly generates warmth. They do not require electricity to produce heat, but do not last very long. Due to the high levels of heat they produce, they are not safe for infants to fall asleep on directly. Transwarmer Mattresses are known to produce warmth only for up to 2 hours.
An oxidative blanket uses a one-time chemical reaction to generate heat. A common reaction used in these types of blankets is oxygen rapidly oxidizing iron. Due to the fact that these blankets utilize a one-time reaction, they are non-reusable and must be disposed of after use. Additionally, due to the high temperature produced by these packs, they are not safe for children especially newly born infants with sensitive skin.