Principles of operation

Light bulbs heat air in the bottom part of the incubator. The air passes over a container with evaporating water, so that its humidity increases. The warm, humid air then flows upwards (chimney effect) into the baby compartment. A thermostat in an exit hole compares the air temperature with the desired temperature. If it is too high, the light bulbs will be switched off; if it is too low, the bulbs will be switched on. The baby can be viewed through Perspex® and it can be handled via two armholes with sleeves. The Perspex® front and top can be hinged back for full access.

The article below discusses the criteria that have played an important role in the overall design of the incubator.

Temperature regulation

The regular rectal temperature measurement with a thermometer may show alarmingly low values. The premature brain cannot provide adequate temperature regulation. It must detect a high heat emission through the skin and respond to it. But the child's ability to stop water loss and increase skin insulation is limited and often just not enough. Even if the child tries to generate internal heat using its own energy as much as possible, it cools down gradually to temperatures around 30 C or even lower. Internal acidity develops and the child dies a toxic death. By simply providing external heat, it can be kept at normal body temperature and survive. The incubator operates with a thermostat that keeps the temperature of the air at a constant, adjustable value.


HEBI incubator basic operation

How to install the temperature and how to install the humidify.

Heating air from 20 C room temperature to 35 C inside an incubator results in a low degree of humidity with values of less than 20% relative humidity. This must be avoided since it results in dehydration in the entire respiratory tract. Furthermore, the heat conducting ability of air is considerably better when it is humid, so that heat transfer improves. On top of this: humid air prevents water loss by the child. Therefore, relative humidity of the air should be kept above 60%. Our incubator is designed with this in mind and a hygrometer is delivered standard with the kit.