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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Mother’s touch for newborns

Sidhartha Dutta , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 01, 2013
First Published: 00:52 IST(1/7/2013) | Last Updated: 02:23 IST(1/7/2013)

Kangaroo care is considered one of the most effective methods of creating warmth of a mother’s touch for newborns who are pre-term or need medical care soon after birth.

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This form of care seeks to provide restored closeness of the newborn with his/her mother by placing the infant in direct skin-to-skin contact with her.

In a new addition to its wide range of products focusing on achieving these purposes, Philips India has launched a special warmer for mother and child care. The warmer was introduced in Bangalore recently.

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 “With lakhs of newborn babies dying every year in India, the crisis called for an enhanced technology to reduce infant mortality in our country. Our new range of infant warmers and incubators are intended to reduce infant mortality,” said Dr Wido Menhardt, CEO, Philips Innovation Campus, Bangalore.

Quiz: Does your baby need to be taken to a doctor?

A child born before 32 weeks is considered very premature while those born below 32 weeks, susceptible to a lot of complications, doctors said.

 The kangaroo baby care technique supports development care by providing a dependable micro-environment very similar to the natural mother-infant bonding.

 Healthcare experts claim it is always good to have improvised products in markets that add advantages over the previous models or equipment available.

Dr Manish Malik, senior consultant, department of neonatology of Max Hospital, Saket, maintained that the hospital was well-equipped as far neonatal care was concerned but advanced technology was always welcome.

“With changing times, we have to adapt to new things. Adaptation to better technology is needed to save more lives,” said Malik. “Kangaroo care support in a warmer is a good concept as long as it helps in saving lives.”

“In our hospital we are always ready to try out newer technologies. We are looking forward to kangaroo care support in warmers,” said Dr Vidya Gupta, senior consultant, Department of Neonatology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.

 However, a section of experts warned about bearing in mind the cost-effectiveness and affordability of such products before releasing them in the market.

 “New technologies are always welcome but one must not forget that for a child, his/her mother is the best incubator. The artificial technology can never match up to natural care. Hence, the natu ral role of the mother should always be encouraged as far as possible,” said Dr Satish Saluja, vice-chairman, department of neonatology at New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

 “Unfortunately 10-15 per cent babies are born pre-term and 5-8 per cent have very low birth weight. If the new technology is installed in big hospitals, it would possibly cater to just 4-5 babies. It is minuscule in comparison to the number of babies that need the care. Hence, the products should be affordable, safe, and should be made available to the general masses,” Saluja added.

Do you think the warmer technology will help bring down infant mortality rate ? Write to myhthealth@gmail.com for our specialists to answer your queries.

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What are warmers and incubators?
Incubators and warmers are used to maintain the body temperature of newborn infants. This is best done so that the energy expended for metabolic heat production is minimised. The heat output of these devices is usually regulated by servocontrol to keep the skin temperature constant.

What is kangaroo care?
Kangaroo care is a technique practiced on newborns, usually preterm infants wherein the infant is held, skin-to-skin with an adult. This ensures physiological and psychological warmth and bonding. The parent’s stable body temperature helps to regulate the neonate’s temperature more smoothly than an incubator.
 
What is NeoPAP?
NeoPAP is a sophisticated CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway system) delivery and treatment system developed to treat newborns and infants with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) or who are recovering from RDS. 
 
What are the benefits of BiliChek?
The BiliChek measures bilirubin levels in a non-invasive manner making use of light. The most convenient aspect of BiliChek is that it can be utilized without the hassles of undergoing a lab test.

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