Routine-care in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) is primarily based on manual procedures. In the recent years, several studies showed how touch could influence the neurodevelopment of infants, in particular, of preterm infants, but literature lacks studies about the utility of palpation as a clinical assessment tool. Therefore, the authors propose the Neonatal Assessment Manual scorE (NAME) model, an evaluative touchbased procedure that could help NICU staff. The NAME aims to evaluate how the infant’s body adapt to gentle manual pressures. By stimulating low-threshold mechanoreceptors, the gentle pressures could elicit a complex neurological response that could alter the hemodynamics and breathing rhythm of the baby and, thus, the body volume. The operator could manually feel these changes through haptic perception and obtain information about the baby’s development and clinical conditions, since the body response depends on them. If future studies confirmed its validity and reliability in clinical practice, the NAME model could become a part of the neonatal ward routine-care.
Keywords: Neonatology, Manual assessment, Haptic perception, Autonomic nervous system, Prematurity, NICU.
Andrea Manzotti, Francesco Cerritelli, Marco Chiera, Erica Lombardi, Simona La Rocca, Pamela Biasi, Matteo Galli, Jorge Esteves, Gianluca Lista, The NAME model for the assessment of infants in the NICU in "PNEI REVIEW" 2/2020, pp. 66-75, DOI:10.3280/PNEI2020-002007