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Sensors 2014, 14(1), 634-658; doi:10.3390/s140100634
Review

Technological Solutions and Main Indices for the Assessment of Newborns’ Nutritive Sucking: A Review

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Received: 17 October 2013; in revised form: 6 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 2 January 2014
(This article belongs to the collection Sensors for Globalized Healthy Living and Wellbeing)
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Abstract: Nutritive Sucking (NS) is a highly organized process that is essential for infants’ feeding during the first six months of their life. It requires the complex coordination of sucking, swallowing and breathing. The infant’s inability to perform a safe and successful oral feeding can be an early detector of immaturity of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Even though the importance of early sucking measures has been confirmed over the years, the need for standardized instrumental assessment tools still exists. Clinicians would benefit from specifically designed devices to assess oral feeding ability in their routine clinical monitoring and decision-making process. This work is a review of the main instrumental solutions developed to assess an infant’s NS behavior, with a detailed survey of the main quantities and indices measured and/or estimated to characterize sucking behavior skills and their development. The adopted sensing measuring systems will be described, and their main advantages and weaknesses will be discussed, taking into account their application to clinical practice, or to at-home monitoring as post-discharge assessment tools. Finally, the study will highlight the most suitable sensing solutions and give some prompts for further research.
Keywords: nutritive sucking monitoring; oral feeding skills; smart objects; early neonatal assessment; clinical decision-making; at-home monitoring nutritive sucking monitoring; oral feeding skills; smart objects; early neonatal assessment; clinical decision-making; at-home monitoring
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tamilia, E.; Taffoni, F.; Formica, D.; Ricci, L.; Schena, E.; Keller, F.; Guglielmelli, E. Technological Solutions and Main Indices for the Assessment of Newborns’ Nutritive Sucking: A Review. Sensors 2014, 14, 634-658.

AMA Style

Tamilia E, Taffoni F, Formica D, Ricci L, Schena E, Keller F, Guglielmelli E. Technological Solutions and Main Indices for the Assessment of Newborns’ Nutritive Sucking: A Review. Sensors. 2014; 14(1):634-658.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tamilia, Eleonora; Taffoni, Fabrizio; Formica, Domenico; Ricci, Luca; Schena, Emiliano; Keller, Flavio; Guglielmelli, Eugenio. 2014. "Technological Solutions and Main Indices for the Assessment of Newborns’ Nutritive Sucking: A Review." Sensors 14, no. 1: 634-658.


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