neonatal thermoregulation

neonatal thermoregulation

the regulation of the body temperature of a newborn, which may be affected by evaporation, conduction, radiation, and convection.
method To prevent the loss of body heat through evaporation, the infant is patted dry with a warm towel immediately after birth. Loss of heat by conduction is prevented by wrapping the baby in a warm blanket or placing a warm blanket over the baby as the baby lies on the mother's skin and by warming all equipment that is to be used to touch, cover, or examine the infant. Loss of heat by radiation can be minimized by placing the baby under a radiant heater; on a warmed, padded surface; or in skin-to-skin contact with the mother. Loss of body heat by convection is prevented by avoiding drafts, air conditioning vents, and low ambient temperatures. Infant bassinets have high sides to prevent cross drafts.
interventions The infant is kept covered and protected from any means of heat loss. Because the surface area of the newborn's head is proportionately large when compared with the body, heat loss from the head may be great. Therefore a cap or fold of blanket is placed around the head. Progressive family-centered maternity services, in which the practice after delivery is to place the infant skin-to-skin with the mother, often provide caps made of stockinet. An overhead radiant heater is rolled to the delivery bed to maintain a warm ambient temperature for the infant.
outcome criteria The axillary temperature is normally between 97.7° F (36.5° C) and 99.5° F (37.5° C).
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