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  Operation and maintaining an infant in an incubator

  1. Assess the infant's need for an incubator.
  2. Determine the type of incubator needed and check availability.
  3. Assess the incubator for cleanliness.
  4. Position the incubator and lock the wheels into place.
  5. Plug the incubator into emergency (red) outlet. Turn on.
  6. Prewarm the incubator with clean linens in place.
  7. Plug the skin thermistor probe into proper receptacle on the incubator.
  8. Perform hand hygiene and apply clean gloves.
  9. Verify the patient's identity using two patient identifiers in accordance with institutional policy.
  10. Explain the process to family and engage them in the care of the newborn. Address any questions or concerns that the family may have.
  11. Lower one side panel of the incubator and place the infant on the center of the incubator mattress.
  12. Close the side panel and use the portholes to access the infant for further care.
  13. Position the skin probe if using skin set temperature for the servocontrol and cover with a reflective self-adhesive disk.
  14. During supine positioning, place the probe on the fleshy right upper quadrant (RUQ) of the infant's abdomen.
  15. During prone or side-lying positioning, place the probe on either flank.
  16. Adjust the skin servocontrol to between 36° C and 36.5° C as a baseline.
  17. Close all portholes.
  18. Remove gloves and discard in proper trash receptacle. Perform hand hygiene
  19. Monitor infant axillary temperatures every hour until stable, adjusting the servocontrol as necessary. Continue monitoring every 3 to 4 hours per unit policy.
  20. Monitor the position of the probe.
  21. Wean the infant from the incubator to open crib per physician's orders. The infant should meet the following criteria before being moved to an open crib:
  22. Weighs 1500 grams or more.
  23. Has consistent weight gain.
  24. Tolerates feedings.
  25. Is physiologically stable.
  26. Maintains axillary temperature of 36.5° C or greater with incubator in manual mode set to keep air temperature at the lower range of neutral (between 31° C and 32° C).
  27. Document the procedure in the patient's chart.