Published on 22 May 2018
Cheap and simple plastic wrapping used in the first 10 minutes after birth helps pre-term and low birth weight infants avoid hypothermia. Infants treated in this way are likely to be warmer when admitted to neonatal intensive care than those treated according to standard care. Pre-term infants are most likely to benefit.
Routine infant care usually involves ensuring the delivery room is warm, drying the infant immediately after birth, wrapping the infant in pre-warmed dry blankets and pre-warming surfaces. Despite this, about a quarter of babies born eight weeks early have temperatures that are too low and additional measures to warm pre-term and low birth weight infants are needed.
Although babies were warmer after the intervention, this review of 19 published studies did not show that these interventions improved survival, or reduced the chances of short or long-term conditions associated with cold, perhaps because of the size of the trials.
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