Background Resuscitation and transfer of sick newborns from delivery room to NICU requires in many hospitals transfer from a radiant warmer to an incubator or use of a transportincubator for transfer to the NICU. This usually means significant thermal stress as well as possible respiratory and hemodynamic instability.
Methods 80 newborns (47 VLBW and 33 sick newborns like CDH) were included in this cohort study and transported in a Giraffe OmniBed from delivery room to the NICU. This hybrid device was upgraded for this study with a monitor, a ventilator, a suction and gas-supply. After delivery, the babies were resuscitated using the device in the open bed and then transported in the incubator mode to the NICU (500 m). Over the first 14 days of life, 49 operations were done in this bed (NEC; ECMO, CDH repairs) and for 32 resuscitation procedures the bed was switched to the open bed mode to facilitate interventions.
Results All initial resuscitation procedures were performed without any problems using the overhead mode. The average rectal temperature for all babies was 36,6°C, this was 0,51°C higher than in the historical control group of 50 babies transported with a conventional transportincubator (p<0.0001).
Conclusions Using this novel hybrid device for resuscitation in the delivery room and for transfer to the NICU means improved thermal stability. This device allows mechanical ventilation without disruption and may help to maintain continuing life support, resulting in admission of more stable infants to the NICU.