Heat loss prevention in the delivery room for preterm infants: a national survey of newborn intensive care units.

 BACKGROUND: Hypothermia incurred during delivery room resuscitation continues to cause morbidity in infants <29 weeks gestation. Three recent trials have shown that wrapping such infants instead of drying prevents heat loss, resulting in higher infant temperatures at Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission.
OBJECTIVE: To describe current NICU practices with respect to wrapping preterm infants to prevent heat loss in the delivery room.
STUDY DESIGN: E-mail survey of neonatologists from national registry using a web-based survey tool.

Heat Loss Prevention for Preterm Infants in the Delivery Room

 OBJECTIVE: Preterm infants are prone to hypothermia immediately following birth. Among other factors, excessive evaporative heat loss and the relatively cool ambient temperature of the delivery room may be important contributors. Most infants <29 weeks gestation had temperatures <36.4°C on admission to our neonatal unit (NICU). Therefore we conducted a randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effect of placing these infants in polyurethane bags in the delivery room to prevent heat loss and reduce the occurrence of hypothermia on admission to the NICU.

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