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Keeping Infants Warm: Challenges of Hypothermia

Mance, Martha J. MS, RN, NNP, CPNP

Section Editor(s): SHORT, MARY A. RN, MSN

doi: 10.1097/01.ANC.0000311011.33461.a5
Foundations in Newborn Care

Hypothermia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in infants; therefore, maintaining normal body temperatures in the delivery room is crucial. An understanding of how infants produce heat and what can be done to maintain normal body temperatures in full-term and preterm infants is essential for the preservation of thermal stability in this population. This article reviews the consequences of hypothermia, mechanisms of heat exchange and heat production in full-term and low birth-weight infants, and discusses interventions in the delivery room to alleviate hypothermia.

Women and Infants' Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.

Address correspondence to Martha J. Mance, MS, RN, CPNP, Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Women and Infants' Hospital, 101 Dudley Street, Providence, RI 02903; reignamjm@aol.com.

© 2008 National Association of Neonatal Nurses