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Parts of an infant incubator

Updated April 17, 2017

Infant incubators are used to monitor, treat and protect newborns and premature babies. They're commonly the difference between life and death for some babies and premature newborns. Each part of an incubator has an important job, and throughout the years technology has improved the way they operate. Today they are a necessity in paediatric life support. Incubators are used very often for infants who cannot survive on their own due to undeveloped lungs and other vital organs.

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The fan is used for disinfection and fumigation.


The heater is adjustable and helps maintain an infant's core body temperature. The temperature is always monitored through a temperature controller. Once set, the heater regulates itself just as a thermostat does on a home heating unit.

Air Distributors

Air distributors distribute air evenly to ensure equal temperature throughout the incubator. This prevents spaces of cold or stale air.


The canopy is a clear, acrylic covering that protects the baby from the outside world and harmful germs that may infect the child. It also makes the perfect warm and oxygenated environment for a baby that's similar to a mother's womb.


Filters clean the air before it is pulled into the incubator, preventing harmful particles from entering the incubator and possibly infecting the infant's lungs.


This part of the incubator measures the amount of humidity inside the incubator. It's also responsible for breathing warm and humidified air into the baby's lungs through endotracheal tubes that run from the baby's nostril into the lungs. This device provides comfort and support for a baby's lungs to fully develop.


Inlets allow the administration of oxygen, medications and IV fluids.

Port Holes

Port holes allow nurses and caretakers to handle the baby without contaminating the infant's environment. Port holes are holes sealed with rubber gloves that you must insert your hands into in order have limited and contamination-free access to the inside of the incubator.

Respiratory Tubing (Mechanical Respirator)

These tubes are usually endotracheal (inserted through the nostril for access to the lungs) and are a way to provide artificial oxygenation to an infant.

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About the Author

Tammy Croft started in 2009 as a professional online editor and started writing articles professionally in 2010. She has written tips on IV set-up, nasal disorders and other health-related topics for various websites. Croft holds an Emergency Medical Technician license with the National Registry of Emergency Technicians.

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