Available space in NICU

  1. Hi, I'm a student from Lehigh University. I'm working on a project that's supposed to improve infant transport incubators - specifically the battery.

    We're thinking about creating some sort of battery for the incubators that can be changed easily. However, this would require room for a type of charging station. We want to know what kind of free floor or wall space there is in a NICU, and what would be most convenient/'out-of-the-way' placement of something like this.

    My team and I want to identify any issues with the battery and make it a better system altogether so any information you can provide would be much appreciated and may be incorporated into real incubators in the future since we are working with a leading incubator company. We want to make your lives easier and keep your patients safer and happier.
  2. Visit eni219 profile page

    About eni219

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 4; Likes: 1

    4 Comments

  3. by   Miiki
    Well, we already have and use such a thing. The Giraffe Shuttle is a big battery that attaches to either end of any of the Giraffe incubators and warmers. You can mount a monitor on it, and it has electrical outlets to plug your various devices into. We keep ours outside of the ORs near our resuscitation area because we use them the most bringing babies from the OR (on a different floor than the NICU). Our tech or float nurse will just run and grab one if we need to transport a baby from its room. We have space in our equipment rooms if we needed to keep them in the unit; they just need to be kept plugged in.

    Edit: reread your post. We don't typically use a transport incubator. We just plug our regular incubator into the shuttle. Mother/baby brings babies to us in a tranport incubator, but I don't think battery life is really an issue for that purpose. Just keep it plugged in when not in use. The transport team uses a stretcher/transport incubator but they can plug in on the truck.
    Last edit by Miiki on Sep 15
  4. by   eni219
    Hi,
    Thank you for your feedback; we really appreciate it! I should have specified that we're working on inter-hospital transport incubators (the ones that go between hospitals). When the patient arrives at the hospital what happens next? What happens to the incubator? Where is it stored? How is it charged? How does it make it back to the hospital it belongs to?
    Thank you, again!
    Emma
  5. by   Miiki
    Quote from eni219
    Hi,
    Thank you for your feedback; we really appreciate it! I should have specified that we're working on inter-hospital transport incubators (the ones that go between hospitals). When the patient arrives at the hospital what happens next? What happens to the incubator? Where is it stored? How is it charged? How does it make it back to the hospital it belongs to?
    Thank you, again!
    Emma
    Usually the receiving hospital picks up the baby. Our hospital's transport incubator has a specific storage room that it remains in until needed. When a referring hospital calls, out transport team calls the ambulance company to pick them up, and they make the round trip. The incubator/vent only stays unplugged on the walks between the truck and the room. I guess we could plug it up in the room, but we transfer the baby over pretty immediately and that's never been an issue.

    Transport teams always make round trips, so the incubator just stays with the transport staff.
  6. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Quote from eni219
    Hi,
    Thank you for your feedback; we really appreciate it! I should have specified that we're working on inter-hospital transport incubators (the ones that go between hospitals). When the patient arrives at the hospital what happens next? What happens to the incubator? Where is it stored? How is it charged? How does it make it back to the hospital it belongs to?
    Thank you, again!
    Emma
    Ambulances and helicopters have outlets, so there is no need for a battery operated incubator. I don't know that you could even find a battery that would run that many things and last long enough to get through an entire transport without being plugged in. You also cannot add the weight of several batteries as you have to remember someone has to lift the incubator (or at least one end of it while loading) and push it.

    Most people, I am guessing, would not want to rely on battery alone to run critical equipment when they could just plug it in during the ride!

    Annie

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