Use of the heated gel mattress and its impact on admission temperature of very low birth-weight infants

Pamela G Almeida, Jane Chandley, James Davis, Roseanne C Harrigan
Advances in Neonatal Care: Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses 2009, 9 (1): 34-9

PURPOSE: The purpose of this investigation was to describe the ability of a transport mattress (TransWarmer Infant Transport Mattress), produced by Cooper Surgical (Trumbull, Connecticut), to reduce hypothermia in a group of very low birth-weight infants.

SUBJECTS: Convenience sample of 115 infants weighing less than 1500 g who were born at Women & Infants' Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, and admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

DESIGN: A quality assurance study using a nonrandomized experimental design. Infants placed on the TransWarmer Infant Transport Mattress were compared with those treated with standard care.

METHODS: Charts were reviewed and data abstracted on the 115 very low birth-weight infants delivered at Women & Infants' Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Hypothermia was significantly lower in the mattress group than for controls (52.5% vs 77.3% using a definition of hypothermia as body temperature less than 97.4 degrees F, P = .01). The difference resulted despite the fact that the mattress group was at increased risk based on various risk factors, lower mean age (26 vs 28.5 wk, P = .001), a lower birth weight (876 vs 1091 g, P = .004), and a higher proportion of Apgar scores of less than 5 at 5 minutes (13.2% vs 6.4%, P = .29) compared with controls. A linear regression model adjusted for birth weight, gender, and gestational age showed that the use of the heated gel mattress raised body temperatures by a mean of 0.7 degrees F per infant (P < .001).

PRINCIPAL RESULTS: The occurrence of hypothermia was significantly lower in the mattress group.

CONCLUSION: The results of this investigation suggest that further research of the TransWarmer Transport Mattress is warranted using an adequately powered randomized controlled trial. Information on the safety and cost-effectiveness is needed. Long-term follow-up evaluating admission temperatures and long-term outcomes is also warranted.

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