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"Smart" pacifier could improve care of premature babies in NICU

HealthWatch: Researchers closer to identifying SIDS cause; "Smart" pacifiers could help NICU babies
HealthWatch: Researchers closer to identifying SIDS cause; "Smart" pacifiers could help NICU babies 01:56

BOSTON -- Babies who are in the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU are at risk for dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and are therefore often subjected to blood draws multiple times a day.

Researchers at Washington State University are testing a "smart" pacifier that when in a baby's mouth can sample the saliva and continuously monitor sodium and potassium levels. It then sends the information wirelessly to a caregiver.

Initial studies find the data from the pacifier tracks closely with data obtained from blood tests.  Scientists now want to make the device more affordable and recyclable and test it on a large scale.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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