A prerequisite for the further improvement in the quality of warming therapy is an accurate knowledge of the interactions between the microclimate in warming therapy devices and the thermal balance of the infant. For generating this knowledge, thermal manikins can be helpful. Suitable models capable of also simulating evaporative heat loss in preterm infants have, however, not been available to date. A thermal manikin representing an infant weighing 530 g and capable of simulating convective, radiative and also evaporative heat loss has now been developed. It comprises an outer shell made of porous, anatomically shaped clay, and is divided into six compartments each of which can be heated individually. Water-filled Gore-Tex bags located immediately beneath the shell are provided to simulate evaporation. In a clinical study, temperature profiles of 8 very small preterm infants were measured thermographically. Measurements in the manikin showed that highly comparable temperature profiles with only minor differences could be obtained. Total heat and water losses by the manikin were in good agreement with clinical values. Using the model described here it is possible to simulate the heat exchange of premature infants under extreme and accurately reproducible environmental conditions. This manikin may thus serve as a tool for comparative studies, for the development of warming therapy equipment, or for training purposes.
R. T. Frankenberger, O. Bussmann, W. Nahm, E. Konecny, and L. Gortner. Messung seitlicher Haupttemperaturprofile von Frühgeborenen in Inkubatoren mittels Thermograhpie - Measuring lateral skin temperature profile of premature infants in incubators with thermography. In Biomedizinische Technik. Biomedical Engineering, vol. 43(6) , pp. 174-178, 1998
Thermography enables the measurement of patients skin temperature profiles without stress caused by direct contact of probes to the skin. In previous incubator studies, frontal recordings were made through a hole in the top wall of the incubator hood. Using this method it is not possible to record the lateral temperature gradient from the back to the abdomen of the infant (in supine position), which is due to very limited heat loss near the incubator mattress. In this study temperature recordings were made from a lateral position. For this purpose a new front door of the incubator (Draeger 8000) was designed, which replaced the standard front door during measurements. In a clinical study thermography was compared to temperature measurements by standard thermistors. The mean difference between thermography and thermistors was 0.16 degree C. These results verify the use of thermography for measuring skin temperature of preterm infants in incubators.
Conference Contributions (1)
O. Bussmann, W. Nahm, and E. Konecny. Modell zur Simulation der Wärmeabgabe und Thermoregulation Frühgeborener - A Model for simulating heat transfer and thermoregulation of premature infants. In Biomedizinische Technik/Biomedical Engineering, vol. 43(s1) , pp. 300-301, 1998