Any parent of a NICU baby, or a neonatal nurse will tell you that these little warriors are very very clever at pulling out any tubes and wires attached to them. Those little fingers are designed to grasp onto things (it's an inbuilt reflex) and all these little tubes are just too tempting!
So what types of tubes do they have,and why are they important to stay in?
The most common type of tube in a NICU/SCBU are feeding tubes. These are carefully inserted by the nurses into a baby's mouth or nose, down the back of the throat into the oesophagus, down to the stomach. This is used to empty the stomach if the baby isn't feeding, or to give milk direct into the stomach until the baby can take it by mouth. Although these tubes can be easily replaced by the nursing team, it can be quite distressing for the baby, so ideally it's best if the tube can stay in the same place!!
NJ tubes are a type of feeding tube that is inserted over a long period of time, usually in the Xray department, which is pushed down past the stomach into the first part of the small bowel, to allows babies to feed who have problems digesting and tolerating milk in the usual way. These are especially important to stay in as any movement of the tube means an XRay and an often lengthy procedure to replace.
The most common of these are TAT (trans anastomotic tube) and replogle tubes. These are used pre and post repair of some surgical conditions. The TAT tube is especially vital to stay in place, as they normally can only be replaced in theatre or down in xray under radiological guidance.
These tubes are literally life saving. They are tubes inserted by the specialist team into the trachea to deliver ventilation to the lungs. What's most important is the difference between these tubes being in the right place and 'out' can only be 0.5 cms, so it's especially important that the little ones keep their hands off them!!
So how do we keep these tubes in?
Well these babies are little magicians and seem to escape from all manner of scratch mitts and hardcore taping down of tubes. I have over 10 years experience of looking after NICU babies - and especially surgical babies - so I was sooo excited when I saw these little scratch mitts from Goumikids. They have a little velcro tie which keeps them on, and are the perfect size for a tiny one! The premature size is recommended for babies 2-5lbs. We also have a size for 0-3 months old babies, so if your baby is not so little we cater for them too.
The mitts are made from organic cotton, and are anti-microbial, and super soft too. Because of their delicate skin, it is recommended that the baby's hands must be checked at each care time to keep an eye on them.
They are available in 3 different colours, and have been a firm favourite with our customers and we have had some great feedback. Most importantly we have had parents and nurses recommend them to other parents after they have seen how effective they are. Which is great praise indeed!