Cause of Device-Related Incident
*Not stated

Clinical Specialty or Hospital Department
CCU / ICU / NICU; Nursery

Device Factors
*Not stated

Document Type

External Factors
*Not stated

Mechanism of Injury or Death
Burn (electrical, thermal, chemical); Hyperthermia

Support System Failures
*Not stated

Tampering and/or Sabotage
*Not stated

User Errors
*Not stated

Infant Radiant Warmers Can Burn: Use with Care


  • Use the automatic (skin-temperature or servo) mode for continuous thermal support—it is safer.
  • Use the manual mode for short-term warming only, and check infant condition and temperature at least every 15 minutes.
  • Always place the sensor on the skin surface that is exposed to the warmer, never beneath the infant. Always use the manufacturer's recommended attachment method.
  • Never use a rectal temperature probe for warmer control. Skin can be burned before normal core temperature is reached.
  • Check sensor attachment frequently. Poor skin contact can cause poor temperature control.
  • Determine the cause of alarms—never just reset them.
  • Never use your hand to estimate the amount of heat reaching the infant. Base any setpoint changes on serial rectal (or alternate) temperatures and other related signs.
  • Be aware that extra fluid replacement may be required to compensate for increased insensible water loss during radiant warmer use.
  • Prewarm heat shields before placing them over infants.
  • Avoid routine use of thermal blankets (e.g., plastic bubble wrap) with radiant warmers as they may cause incorrect skin temperature sensing and overheating.

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