The womb is a complex system providing the essential environmental conditions and nutrition to support the healthy growth and development of a fetus. The growth and development of premature babies depends on how effectively an artificial system can replicate the exact roles and functions of the biological womb. In the 1970s, neonates died due to a lack of ventilators, or they were supported in the early days of life with pediatric volume ventilators and a pre-set tidal volume. In recent years, mechanical ventilation has gained importance in neonatal intensive care units. A neonatal ventilator is needed for premature neonates with respiratory distress syndrome and is regarded as a core component in the neonatal respiratory care unit.
Invasive mechanical ventilation, which supports neonates with lung disease, has been considered as a major cause of lung injury and inflammation. Lung inflammation is a primary risk factor for Broncho-pulmonary dysplasia in neonates. Major reasons for the use of invasive support in premature neonates are increased work of breathing, poor gas exchange, the need for surfactant-replacement therapy, and apnea of prematurity. Neonates with respiratory difficulties can be provided noninvasive respiratory support. However, it is a challenge to develop noninvasive ventilators.
Various challenges limit innovations in neonatal ventilators. Neonatal patients are difficult to involve in clinical trials. Moreover, many manufacturers are unable to support expensive studies, and a very large number of patients is needed to find subtle differences in morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, ventilator software changes so frequently that it makes it difficult for research to be recorded with technological changes. No studies have proved the patient-triggered ventilation increases mortality or morbidity in premature neonates.
At the time of birth, a baby’s body and skin temperature may drop significantly because of convection, heat loss from conduction, water evaporation, and radiation. Long-time cold stress in neonates can cause hypoglycemia, oxygen deprivation, rapid depletion of glycogen stores, and metabolic acidosis. Incubators provide a packed environment for neonates. The control both temperature and humidity with respect to modes, with the concentration of oxygen. Incubators warm a premature baby by circulating heated air over the skin. The heat supplied is then absorbed into the body by blood convection, sensory organs, and tissue conduction. The skin and body temperatures should be maintained with minute differences. Inadequate control of the amount of oxygen in an incubator may lead to hypoxia or hyperoxia.
Another type of equipment used in the care of premature neonates is radiant warmers. Neonates are placed in an open crib, with heat being continuously provided by an overhead radiant lamp. Radiant warmers are recommended by almost all pediatric doctors, as they provide more visibility and accessibility to infants in emergency situations. Radiant warmers employ heat lamps as a source of infra-red radiation. The lamps have a fraction of their emission in a visible region from bright light. They hurt the very sensitive eyes of neonates, causing them to sleep.
In 2015, the World Health Organization stated that 1 million among 15 million babies do not survive due to prematurity. Preterm birth is ranked as the second leading reason for death in children who do not complete their fifth year. It is the number one fatal syndrome in the first month after birth.
The Infant flow in Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) decreases the work of breathing by about 75% in respiratory distress when compared with conventional bubble CPAP. This is expected to drive the global neonatal ventilators and incubators market. Suboptimal nurse to patient ratio, lack of monitoring devices and cost issues are the restraints expected to impede the growth of the global neonatal ventilators and incubators market in developing countries.
Based on product, the global neonatal ventilators and incubators market can be classified into neonatal ventilators, neonatal incubators, and infant warmers. The neonatal ventilators segment can be further divided into invasive ventilators and non-invasive ventilators. The neonatal incubators segment can be further split into neonatal incubation care unit (NICU) incubators and transport incubators. The infant warmers segment can be further bifurcated into electric infant warmers and non-electric infant warmers. In terms of end-user, the global neonatal ventilators and incubators market can be categorized into hospitals, specialized clinics, and nursing homes.
Based on region, the global neonatal ventilators and incubators market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. The non-invasive ventilators sub-segment of the neonatal ventilators segment is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. The U.S. accounts for a prominent share of the neonatal ventilators and incubators market in North America as the adoption of new technology is high in the country.
Prominent players operating in the global neonatal ventilators and incubators market are Phoenix Medical Systems (P) Ltd, PT. Fyrom International, Beijing Julongsanyou Technology CO., Ltd., Ginevr Limited, Returns Ozcan Inc., GE Healthcare, CareFusion Medical, Phillips Respironics, Natus Medical Incorporated, JW Medical LLC, Inspiration Healthcare Group plc, Cobams plc, among others.
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