Occlusive bags to prevent hypothermia in premature infants: a quality improvement initiative

Kathleen Godfrey, Donna G Nativio, Charles V Bender, Elizabeth A Schlenk
Advances in Neonatal Care: Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses 2013, 13 (5): 311-6
The aim of this quality improvement initiative was to improve the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission rectal temperatures of premature infants less than 28 weeks' gestation by placing them in an occlusive bag from the neck down immediately after birth. The historical control group consisted of a convenience sample of 46 very low-birth-weight infants from March 1, 2010, to August 31, 2010. A convenience sample of 35 very low-birth-weight infants from October 1, 2010, to April 30, 2011, was recruited during the prospective phase. A quasi-experimental design was used. A retrospective medical record review was performed to collect data on NICU admission rectal temperatures for the historical control group. During the prospective phase, infants were placed in a bag from the neck down immediately after birth and NICU admission rectal temperatures were recorded. In both groups, NICU rectal temperatures were measured immediately upon admission. Application of the bag resulted in a higher mean NICU admission rectal temperature in the intervention group compared with the historical control group. Occlusive bags applied at delivery decreased heat loss in premature infants. The results support previous findings and resulted in a change in clinical practice.

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