To provide context to the benefits of heel warmers it is helpful to understand the role that they play in the care of a new-born infant.
A tiny needle prick on your newborn’s foot can tell doctors most of what they need to know about your baby’s genes. This test used by Doctors, most commonly referred to as the “Heel Stick Test”, is a type of blood test used to check for and identify a variety of rare genetic problems. The heel stick is used to draw a few drops of blood, from your new- born babies heel, which can then be sent to a lab for testing.
When is the test done: The heel stick test should be carried out within 24 hours of the birth of your child to ensure the accuracy of the results that come back from the tests. This will help to ensure that any required treatment that is needed can be provided before your child leaves hospital.
Why is the test done: Problems with how your baby absorbs nutrients can be identified by these blood screenings / tests. It will also help in detecting blood and hormone related illness’s.
The heel warmer, which is used routinely in neonatal care, is an instant chemical heat pack which increases capillary circulation (movement of blood through vessels) to aid the collection of blood from an infants heel.
In order to get the maximum benefit from heel warmers they must have the following features:
Having a good quality infant heel warmer with the above features helps increase the blood flow to the newborn’s heel. This will then minimise any potential bruising, infections, and cartilage damage that can be caused by heel sticks from blood draws.