Sucking Device for Feeding Of Low-Birthweight Infants
Small Business Information
Kdl Medical Technologies, Inc.
420 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
AbstractWe are developing diagnostic and treatment equipment based primarily on fluid flow technology. We are developing a suckometer with the long term application to various aspects of neonatal and post-natal care and study. This research focuses on the feeding behavior of very low birth weight infants with ultimate application to infants with other feeding problems due to congenital abnormality and other causes. The methodology used is based on the Kron sucking device which uses a specially designed nipple with linear flow restrictor. The restrictor transduces the intraoral pressure developed by a suckling infant into a pressure-time signal that can be analyzed to give a number of parameters relating to infant status. Previous research has shown the applicability of the method to evaluating the clinical state of full term and preterm infants. The present work is directed to developing specialized nipples and associated analysis software for studying the feeding behavior, development of sucking and swallowing of immature infants, and the related problems of infant care and transition to normal feeding activity. Such equipment and methodology should find a market in most newborn birthing facilities, infant intensive care units, and in similar facilities that specialize in the care of low birthweight and congenitally abnormal infants. This market has grown considerably in recent years due to the significant improvement in care leading to much higher survival rates of such infants, but increasing the population of infants with serious feeding problems.
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