The first doctor to use incubators for premature babies was the French gynecologist Stéphane Tarnier, who copied the idea from a zoo in Paris in which incubators were used to keep newborn chicks at the right temperature. It occurred to Tarnier that this system could serve to prevent babies from dying of hypothermia in the cold hospitals of the late 19th century. Despite the criticism received by colleagues who, at that time, did not understand that blankets or hot water bottles were not enough to keep the children alive, the obstetrician managed to convince his peers that his invention worked. By the early 20th century, those primitive incubators had been refined by adding individual thermostats and improved ventilation systems.
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