Life-saving machine: The incubator [ 0 Comments ] [ February 14, 2017 ]

Incubators - NRP Certification in San Diego

There are countless lives which would have been woefully short without this amazing piece of technology. It comes naturally to us to expect hospitals have them and be able to take care of infants who need this specialized device. The story behind this invention is long and full of revolutionary new technologies.

Medical professionals working with neonatal patients need to know how to operate an incubator. As well as that, they need to have NRP certification. In San Diego County, NRP classes are available through Advanced Healthcare Education centers.

The earliest stages

The first incubators were put forward in the late 19th century. At that time, the mortality rate of children under age of 1 was around 20 percent. Children born prematurely were even less likely to survive. A French physician Stephane Tarnier improved previous designs of incubators by adding hygiene and humidity to warmth as a factor. His invention helped reduce infant mortality by 28%. Very soon, other physicians adopted and adapted his inventions and some of them were used well into the 20th century, although not without controversy.

Gradual shift to normal

The medical care at that time was mainly concerned with the woman, and the child came as an afterthought. It was pretty hard securing funding. Some of the more bizarre ways this was achieved was by putting baby incubators on display in various amusement parks and fairs. The most famous and most durable display of such babies was on Coney Island. It lasted from 1903 until 1941. Not without its ups and downs, the show proved that these devices are worthwhile and should be invested in. It helped that some of the incubator babies became doctors themselves, proving that the premature babies lead normal lives afterwards. After around 40 years, the show became normal to people, and the incubators became accepted. The first hospital-based incubators were opened in New York, under the supervision of Cornell University.


Primarily, the incubator is there to provide warmth to the baby. Premature babies do not have the insulating layer of fat to keep them warm, so they need a machine to do it for them. The temperature is adjustable, depending on the infants’ needs. However, over time, more functions were added. Oxygenation function is highly important for babies born with underdeveloped lungs. Incubators also monitor various statistics, ranging from temperature and cardiac function, to brain functions. Aside from purely medical purpose, incubators are used as shields from various infections for immunocompromised infants, whether newborns or those who were born ill. The climate inside is carefully controlled and limits exposure to various germs.


Despite being necessary for a lot of prematurely born children, incubators can pose some danger to them as well. If they are not cleaned properly, bacteria or other pathogens might find their way in and thrive, causing potentially lethal infections. Similarly, if the incubator is not set according to the specific needs of the infant, it may do more damage than good. But both these problems are primarily due to improper use by the staff. This is why it is crucial to train those working with these devices well.

The incubator has gone a long way before finding its place as standard technology on neonatal wards. Medical workers on neonatal wards are obligated to have NRP certification in San Diego. Advanced Healthcare Education centers all over San Diego County offer a variety of specialized medical classes. Renew your certification, or attain it for the first time. Advanced Healthcare Education centers are certified by the American Heart Association to conduct these courses. Contact today for further information.