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Next-Gen Neonatal Feeding Device Reduces NICU Length of Stay

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 01 Sep 2023
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Image: The NTrainer System 2.0 is a next generation medical device designed to improve neonatal feeding (Photo courtesy of Cardinal Health)
Image: The NTrainer System 2.0 is a next generation medical device designed to improve neonatal feeding (Photo courtesy of Cardinal Health)

Certain premature and newborn infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) require significant assistance to develop the crucial skill of non-nutritive sucking (NNS), which is a fundamental step before they can feed orally on their own. Achieving independent oral feeding is a critical milestone, often serving as a final requirement before these infants can be discharged from the NICU. Now, an advanced biofeedback device is designed to aid the development of NNS skills necessary for independent oral feeding in newborns and infants born prematurely.

Cardinal Health (Dublin, OH, USA) has introduced the latest version of its NTrainer System, known as NTrainer System 2.0. This medical device is specifically designed to expedite the development of oral coordination skills in premature and newborn infants, thereby helping to reduce the duration of their stay in the NICU. Using real-time assessment technology, the NTrainer System offers clinicians precise data to monitor an infant's progress in acquiring pre-feeding skills. Moreover, the system instills confidence in parents by showcasing their infants' progress and potential for thriving after leaving the NICU.

The NTrainer System is designed to improve NNS in premature and newborn infants, a critical factor for transitioning from feeding tubes to breastfeeding or bottle feeding. By harnessing Cardinal Health's patented technology for enhancing NNS proficiency, the NTrainer has been clinically proven to enhance feeding outcomes and shorten NICU stays. The upgraded NTrainer System 2.0, compared to its predecessor, is more compact, user-friendly, and seamlessly integrates into feeding protocols but still maintains consistent and repeatable assessment and therapy features. It is designed specially to assist premature infants in achieving proper suck-swallow-breathe coordination, ultimately reducing the time required to achieve full oral feeding capability.

"The NTrainer System demonstrates Cardinal Health's investment in innovation to help improve patient outcomes and increase caregiver confidence while providing objective data important for delivering consistent patient care," said Steve Mason, CEO of Cardinal Health's Medical Segment. "The NTrainer System will help some of our most vulnerable patients at the beginning of life through the first and only biofeedback device to improve NNS patterns in newborns and infants born prematurely."

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