Heat Loss Prevention in Neonates

Neonates are susceptible to hypothermia when body temperature drops below 36.5°C (97.7°F) and their mortality increases significantly with each 1°C reduction in body temperature, (heat loss).

Heat loss can rapidly occur in premature low-birth-weight neonates due to less body fat that helps to generate heat. If the delivery room is cold and the new-born is not immediately dried and wrapped after birth they are at great risk for develop hypothermia.

Heat loss prevention measures are paramount to neonatal morbidity and mortality. Depending on the birth weight and health of the new-born; different methods of keeping them warm will need to be considered. Warming techniques can range from natural methods i.e. skin-to-skin contact with the mother and swaddling blankets, to using dedicated warming equipment such as: heated blankets & mattresses, incubators, and radiant warmers.