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Admission Hypothermia in Very Preterm Infants and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity
Emilija Wilson, RN, RM, Rolf F. Maier, MD, PhD, Mikael Norman, MD, PhD, Bjoern Misselwitz, MD, MPH, Elizabeth A. Howell, MD, PhD, Jennifer Zeitlin, MA, DSc, Anna-Karin Bonamy, MD, PhD on behalf of the show Effective Perinatal Intensive Care in Europe (EPICE) Research Group
The Journal of Pediatrics (2016)

Babies who are born very preterm, i.e. born two months or more before full term pregnancy, have limited resources to handle the cold environment right after birth. Despite well-known strategies on how to handle heat loss after very preterm birth, many have a body temperature below the desirable range 36.5-37.5°C, at admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

We investigated body temperature at admission to neonatal intensive care in our cohort of babies born very preterm and assessed the association between body temperature and in-hospital death. Body temperature was categorized as: <35.5°C, 35.5-36.4°C, 36.5-37.5°C, or >37.5°C. Body temperatures between36.5-37.5°C (desirable temperature range) was used as the reference group.

Our results show that 53% of very preterm babies admitted for neonatal intensive care had admission temperatures below 36.5˚C. If the newborn baby had an admission temperature below 35.5˚C, he or she had a nearly doubled risk of dying during the first 4 weeks after birth.

The results show that it is necessary to increase awareness about the prevalence and possible risks associated with hypothermia, among the neonatal and obstetric teams caring for the very preterm babies.

See article here: J Pediatr. (2016)