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Transport Incubators Through the Years

 

Above: One of the earliest infant transport incubators was invented by Dr. Julius Hess in Chicago in 1922. It was manufactured and advertised widely by V. Mueller and Company.

 

Above: An ambulance incubator and its case. From the 7th annual report of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital. Likely ca. 1924.

 

Above: Infant transport incubator used at Harlem Hospital in New York ca. 1940. There is an oxygen tank in the lower compartment.

 

Above: The "Premature Infant Carrier" and medical bag used to transport babies to the Johns Hopkins Premature Infant Unit ca. 1945. Photo from the NLM Digital Collections.

 

Above: A baby being moved to the hospital in the Hopkins "Premature Infant Carrier" ca. 1945. Photo from the NLM Digital Collections.

 

Above: Premature Infant Ambulance with Pragel Incubator, New York City, 1949. Photo from International News Photo.

 

Above: Closeup of Pragel Newborn Transport Incubator patented in 1949.

 

Above: Newborn ambulance transport, London 1950.

 

Above: Quadruplets being transported from Audubon Hospital to Boston Children's Hospital in 1951. Photo from ACME/NEA.

 

Above: A premature baby being transported to the "Ecole de Fuericulture" in Paris during the 1950's. Photo from the NLM Digital Collections.

 

Above: Santa Monica (California) Ambulance Incubator ca. 1954. Photo by World Wide Photo.

 

Above: Transport incubator being placed in ambulance in Santa Monica, California, ca. 1954. Photo by World Wide Photo.

 

Above: Patrick Kennedy, son of President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, is transported to Boston Children's Hospital on August 7, 1963. The baby was born by C/S at 34.5 weeks and expired due to RDS on August 9.

 

Above: Newborn transport on Air Wien Alaska, early 1970s. Photo from Alaska's Digital Archives.

 

Baby being transported from Silverton Hospital to the University of Oregon hospital in 1972. Photo from The Oregonian.

 

Above: Transport incubator and helicopter at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington, 1975.

 

Above: 2 day old is transported by helicopter and ambulance from Eugene to the University of Oregon in Portland for a congenital heart problem in 1975.

 

Above: Babies are evacuated from Houma Hospital by helicopter after a power failure caused by Hurrican Andrew in 1992.

 


Modern infant transport incubators, of which there are many brands, are essentially small mobile ICUs. They are battery powered, with an option to plug into wall sockets when one is available in the field, and typically have built-in servo-controlled thermal environment management, oxygen supply, infusion pumps, cardiovascular monitors, and even ventilators. They are on collapsible stands with wheels with hold-down points that allow them to be loaded into ambulances, helicopters, or aircraft and secured in place.

 

 

 


Dr. Julius Hess and the Premature Infant (BMJ)
Heated Bed for the Transportation of Premature Infants by Dr. Julius Hess.
Historical Perspectives of Neonatal Transport by William Butterfield, MD
Pragel Newborn Transport Incubator with Ambulance.
Wien Air Alaska transport of newborn, early 19790s.
A Transport Service for Premature Babies in New York City, American Journal of Nursing, 1950.

YouTube video of U.K. premature baby transport ca. 1950.
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Created 2/12/2000 / Last modified 3/7/2021
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