Security blanket from Michigan helps keep babies safe

Ann Arbor — Grace Hsia was born one month early, arriving the day after Christmas in 1989. She spent the next 11 days in St. John Hospital’s intensive care in Detroit. The doctors there had the equipment to keep her body warm and temperature stable.

But a lot of babies born prematurely around the world are not so lucky.

“It shocked me to learn that over 1 million infants die from hypothermia in resource-scarce settings. I thought to myself, ‘We can do something about this to help these babies,’ ” said Hsia, 27.

It’s no coincidence that what she’s working on involves saving babies. While a University of Michigan materials science engineering student, Hsia (pronounced “shaw”) developed the IncuBlanket for her senior project. Essentially, it’s a nonelectric warming blanket that helps preterm babies survive in hospitals worldwide lacking electricity or resources...