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Critical Preterm Infant Research Utilizes Skin Temperature Monitoring
By: CAS Dataloggers
At the University of South Carolina (UofSC) College of Nursing, a critical research initiative is underway: The PATH Study (Predictive Analysis Using Temperature and Heart Rate). This five-year, National Institutes of Health-funded (NIH/NINR:1R01NR017872)
Kayla Everhart, a Ph.D. student at UofSC, became involved in the PATH study as a research coordinator after choosing neonatal research as her focus and becoming a mentee of the study's Primary Investigator, Dr. Robin Dail.
When monitoring the thermal gradients of an infant, two special skin temperature monitoring sensors are placed on the body: one on the abdomen to record core/central temperature and one on the foot to record the peripheral temperature.
Sourcing A Solution
Back in 2014, previously used temperature data loggers were discontinued by the manufacturer, causing Dr. Dail to search for a comparable temperature monitoring solution. CAS was able to provide four Grant SQ2010 data loggers that had the ability to connect to the specialized skin temperature thermistor sensors needed for the study.
Once the loggers were received, researchers and NICU site nurses began doing test runs to ensure they were suitable for the study. Everhart quickly identified an issue with wires between the logger and the sensors becoming damaged during heavy use, causing the thermistors to lose the ability to capture accurate temperature readings.
With some troubleshooting and testing, CAS designed a custom adapter that was able to keep the wires safe and secure while installed on the infant's bed. The adapter was able to accept the custom RJ-11 connectors from the skin temperature sensors and provide a robust electrical connection to the data logger, while at the same time allowing the nurses to easily attach the sensors.
Benefits & Critiques
According to Everhart, the Grant skin temperature monitoring data loggers are very user-friendly. In particular, the custom adapters provided by CAS are a huge advantage for keeping research running smoothly. The icons on the logger's screen make it easy to use and troubleshoot and Everhart loves the ability to auto-upload files to excel. On the downside, she wishes it were a bit more compact as it is somewhat bigger than what they had used in the past.
For more information on Grant data loggers, or to find the ideal solution for your application-