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Body temperature mapping in critically ill newborn infants nursed under radiant warmers during intensive care

G K Chaseling, Y Molgat-Seon, T Daboval, S Chou, O Jay
Journal of Perinatology: Official Journal of the California Perinatal Association 2016, 36 (7): 540-3

OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to assess (i) the agreement between servo-control temperature (Tfeedback) and rectal temperature (Tre) and (ii) the distribution of regional skin temperatures (Tsk) of neonates nursed under a radiant warmer (RW) in a neonatal intensive care unit.

STUDY DESIGN: An observational study of 13 neonates nursed under a RW device set to servo-control mode (Tfeedback set-point: 36.5 °C) who were monitored for Tfeedback, Tre and Tsk at six sites for a period of 105 min.

RESULTS: Mean bias for Tfeedback relative to Tre was +0.01 °C, but 95% limits of agreement were ±0.99 °C, and only 66% of Tfeedback values were within the acceptable limits determined a priori (±0.5 °C). Tfeedback was maintained within a range of 1.4 °C (35.9 to 37.3 °C), whereas the range observed for regional skin temperatures spanned from 9.5 °C (27.3 to 36.8 °C; foot) to 4.8 °C (33.1 to 37.9 °C; chest).

CONCLUSION: Although Tfeedback is maintained within narrow limits, the level of agreement with Tre is poor. In addition, large fluctuations in regional skin temperatures occur with a consistent caudal-to-rostral temperature gradient, irrespective of Tfeedback.

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