Premature Infant Training Tool

Authors: Tu Pham, Mohamed Antar, Maria Tam Tran

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Leineweber

Premature infants often suffer hypotonia and requires special care in the intensive care units. However, nurses often incorrectly position the infants, which harms them and fails to aid in their development. Here we show that the premature infant training tool is designed to help nurses practice the correct positioning techniques, so they can handle the babies safely to minimize pain and irritation. The tool consists of an internal skeleton that matches the typical size of premature infants, and mimics the ‘floppiness’ that occurs with the infants. The skeleton is protected by an outer layer of thermoplastic elastomer rubber with the joints being exposed and covered by cloth to minimize movement resistance. Degrees of freedom and flexibility tests were conducted to ensure proper imitation of hypotonic infants and performance surveys were performed to obtain feedback.