Radiant Warmer- Operation, Application, Pros, Cons, and Handling

Radiant warmer, also known as the baby warmer, is a type of incubator that is used to incubate a newly born baby. The term radiant refers to radiation. It means that the heat is generated by the process of radiation. Unlike other kinds of incubators, the radiant warmer is not a closed system. Rather it is an open system. This machine is designed for newly born babies because there will be a sudden drop in the temperature when the baby comes out of the mother’s womb.

In this blog, we will be discussing the components, operation, applications, pros, cons, and handling of the baby warmer.

Different Parts of radiant warmer

Some of the basic external parts of the radiant warmer are stated below.

  • Heating Rod:- This is the source of heat radiation. It lies at the top of the machine.
  • Observation Light:- This light is necessary to observe the baby during nighttime.
  • Main Board:- This board is useful for controlling the entire machine.
  • Display Board:- The display board shows the set temperature value, present value, and the errors that may occur during its long run.
  • Baby Tray:- This tray is the place where the baby is placed. The tray lies directly below the heating rod.
  • Temperature Sensors:- You may have one or two sets of temperature probes to measure the temperature. One of the probes can be used as the skin probe for measuring the temperature of the skin. The other probe can be used as the air probe for measuring the temperature of the atmosphere. However, an air probe may not be available in most of the models.
  • Trolley:- The entire set of the light, heater, and tray is placed on top of the trolley. The trolley allows moving the machine from one place to another. Also, the machine might have the feature for the up and down movement of the baby tray.
  • Drawer:- You can use the drawer, usually found at the bottom of the machine, for storing medical tools and drugs for treating the baby.
  • X-ray Plate:- The plate may be available at the lower side of the baby tray. This is an optional feature.

Modes of operation of radiant warmer

The baby warmer provides you with two types of modes. They are the servo mode and the manual mode.

1. Servo Mode

Servo mode is also known as the automatic mode. In this mode, the mainboard compares the temperature difference between the set and the present value. If the present value is lower than the set value, the machine will supply the heat to the baby. On applying the heat to the baby, the present value will increase. When the present value goes nearer to the set value, the intensity of the heat delivered will decrease. On reaching or crossing the set value, the heating element will be completely turned off. In this way, the machine helps to maintain the set value.

This mode is mainly used during the treatment because it helps to maintain the required temperature. But, the main drawback of this system is that, once the present value goes closer to the set value, the heating rod will begin to deliver less energy. So, it will take a longer time to stabilize.

2. Manual Mode

In this mode, the machine does not consider the set and the present value. Here, the user manually sets the temperature intensity. For example, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of the total energy may be delivered by the machine.

The main benefit of this mode is that you can set the energy required at 100%. So, the machine will continuously deliver maximum heat energy. Due to this reason, the tray where the baby is to be placed will warm up quickly before putting the baby.

The other benefit is that even when the temperature sensor fails to operate, the machine can operate in this mode.

3. When do you need to use manual mode?

There are few conditions when it is better to use the manual mode rather than the servo mode.

  • If you are planning to bring a baby under the care of a radiant warmer, it is better to use the manual mode. So, set the manual mode to the maximum value. Thus, the tray will quickly gain temperature. Once the baby is placed on the tray, set the machine to servo mode.
  • If the baby is facing a hypothermic condition, the temperature will fall quickly. In such a case, you need to set the manual mode to the highest setting.
  • If the baby is suffering from fever, setting the machine to the servo mode will give out a buzzer periodically. So, in this case, you need to set the machine to the manual mode at the lowest possible value.
  • If the temperature sensor damages, then you may need to use the manual mode until the new sensor is available. This is because, if the sensor gets damaged the machine will give you an error in servo mode.

How to operate the radiant warmer?

Follow the following steps to operate the baby warmer.

  • Connect the power cable to the plug and then turn on the machine.
  • Then, set the machine to manual mode. Set the power to the highest level for the quick heating of the baby tray, bed sheets, and other kinds of clothes used in it.
  • Then set the machine to the servo mode. Set the temperature to 36.5°C
  • Place the baby on the baby tray.
  • Connect the temperature sensor to the skin of the abdomen of the baby with tape.
  • No need to turn on the observation lamp while the baby is not under observation. An observation lamp is only necessary during the treatment or observation of the baby.
  • Regularly record the temperature of the baby.
  • Turn off the heating rod if there is no need to operate the machine.
  • Set the time if there is an option in the machine.

Things to be considered while using the skin probes

  • Do not touch the tip of the probe with your nail.
  • Do not apply probe on the wet skin surface.
  • Do not apply probe on the bruised skin.
  • Do not apply the probe to the plastic dressing.
  • Attach the tip of the sensor, on the baby, with the help of the tape of 2-3 inch length.  Make sure that the tip of the sensor is not exposed to the environment.
  • Check the position of the probe regularly. If the probe comes out of the skin of the baby, the sensor will detect the lower temperature of the atmosphere. Hence, the warmer will deliver a higher amount of heat in servo mode. So, the baby may have to face the condition of hyperthermia.

Advantages and disadvantages of radiant warmer

Some of the major advantages and disadvantages of the baby warmer are stated below.


  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Can be transported from one place to another.
  • Low chance of infection in comparison to that of the closed incubator.


The side effects of radiant warmer are as follows.

  • Since the machine is an open system, the heat will not be uniformly distributed.
  • If the skin sensor is not used properly, there is a higher chance of hyperthermia.
  • Higher rate of water loss and dehydration.
  • If the baby touches any metallic part of the machine, he/she may face the skin burn.
  • The intense light of the observation lamp can affect the eyes of the baby. So you need to place some cover on top of their eyes.

What is the purpose of radiant warmer?

(When can babies use radiant warmer?)

The radiant warmer is designed to incubate the newly born baby. Thus, the incubation of the baby is necessary for a number of reasons.

  • For cleaning the newborn baby.
  • To treat the babies who are facing frequent physiological disorders. The disorders can be anything such as hypothermia.
  • To prevent the babies from suffering from colds and fever due to a sudden decrease in the temperature.

Handling of the radiant warmer 

There are few things that we need to take care of while handling the machine.

  • Connect the power cable to the supply properly. Make sure that there is a proper voltage for the operation of the machine. Else the machine will give you an error.
  • Clean the bedside panels with Collins or detergents when not in use. Fix the panels properly when the baby is placed on the tray.
  • Do not open the bedsides panel during the middle of the operation. This will cause the leakage of the heat.
  • Do not use the oil and grease to clean the machine.
  • Do not clean the machine when the machine is ON. Instead of that, close the machine. Allow the machine to cool down. Then you may clean it.

Radiant warmer supplier in Nepal

There are very few suppliers that deal with the baby warmer. Bikash Surgical Concern Pvt. Ltd., is one of them. The supplier is located in Tripureswor, Kathmandu. The company deals with the warmer of SS TECHNOMED P. LTD. The radiant warmer price can depend upon a number of factors. Thus the price of the machine keeps on changing. So, it is better to contact the supplier to known the exact price of the machine.


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