Vinyl bags prevent hypothermia at birth in preterm infants

Bobby Mathew, Satyan Lakshminrusimha, Katherine Cominsky, Eileen Schroder, Vivien Carrion
Indian Journal of Pediatrics 2007, 74 (3): 249-53

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of standard care vs. the use of vinyl bags (Vi-Drape (R) isolation bag) on admission temperature in extremely premature infants < or = 28 weeks gestational age at birth.

METHODS: Twenty seven premature infants with similar baseline characteristics were assigned and placed in vinyl bags (n=14) immediately following delivery without drying or received standard care (controls, n=13), including drying and placement under a radiant warmer. Axillary temperature was recorded on admission to the neonatal unit.

RESULTS: The average temperature in the vinyl bag group was significantly higher (35.9 +/- 0.13 vs 34.9 +/- 0.24 degrees C, p=0.002). Although the cord blood pH was similar between the two groups (7.33+0.02 in the vinyl bag group and 7.33 +/- 0.01 in the control group), the worst pH in the first 6 hours of life was significantly lower in the control group (7.32 +/- 0.02 vs 7.22 +/- 0.04, p=0.03). There was a significant increase in maximal oxygen requirement during the first 24 h in the control group (82.9 vs 43.3% in the vinyl bag group, p=0.0004).

CONCLUSION: Vinyl bags prevent heat loss and are a simple and effective intervention in preventing hypothermia in the delivery room and early acidosis in premature infants.

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