Wireless vital signs monitoring is better for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies and parents than wired monitoring. Wireless NICU monitoring helps improve the physical health of babies and reduces parental stress.
The negative side of traditional vital signs monitoring
Every year, 15 million premature babies and millions of other newborns are cared for in the NICU. By default, their cardiac function and respiration is monitored through adhesive electrodes that are connected to monitors with wires. These wires provide some issues:
- While saving babies’ lives, NICU staff also need to take care of the parents. Parents get worried when they see their loved one attached to those wiresFL.
The mere sight of all the wires makes them anxious. This isn’t a good start of a care partnership: a parent participation that is beneficial to them and to youCHFROBMCPT.
- Newborns can entangle the electrode wires with their hands and while pulling the wires, they inadvertently cause themselves pain. Also removing the adhesive electrodes can be painful and the use of adhesive electrodes can cause skin damage, which can lead to an increased risk of infectionsCAPO. Pain can also have a negative influence on the developing brain of neonatesMO.
- The traditional monitoring with wires make it harder for professionals and parents to pick the baby up from the incubator. Therefore performing Kangaroo Care becomes more complicated. With the Bambi Belt, monitoring of newborns can be performed without the limitations mentioned above - no adhesive materials are used and there are no connecting wires.
Wireless NICU monitoring
By replacing the vital signs monitoring wires by a much less invasive monitoring belt, the Bambi Belt helps NICU staff make babies’ lives happier from day one. By eliminating wires and adhesives, the Bambi Belt helps reduce their pain and improves parent-child bonding - which in turn reduces stress in babies and parents.
The wireless neonatal vital signs monitoring belt has noticeable advantages:
- Parents are less afraid to pick up their loved one. They can more easily take care of their newborn babies themselves, breastfeed them and hold them skin-to-skin. Because the belt enables or simplifies Family Integrated Care, premature babies can grow faster and other newborns can heal fasterCHFROB, shortening their stay at the NICU and the hospitalMCPT.
- The silicone of which the belt is made, is much more skin-friendly than the adhesives on vital signs monitoring electrodes. Because of the non-sticky texture, NICU babies with the belt feel less pain.
- Staff get to safely monitor babies without being afraid of harming babies’ skin. StudiesKR1KR2 show that monitoring respiratory rate and heart rate with transcutaneous diaphragmatic EMG is feasible and repeatable in preterm infants. dEMG even significantly improves the accuracy of apnea classification compared to chest impedance in preterm infantsKR2.
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The Bambi Belt
The Bambi Belt is a disposable silicone belt that is wrapped around a baby’s chest. It measures respiration and heart rate through diaphragmatic EMG and ECG. It sends the neonatal vital signs via the Bambi Bridge (attached to the belt) to the Bambi Interface, which is connected to the patient monitor.