Author(s): Ogunlesi TA, Ogunfowora OB, Adekanmbi FA, Fetuga BM, Olanrewaju DM
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Facilities which manage high-risk babies should frequently assess the burden of hypothermia and strive to reduce the incidence. OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence and outcome of point-of-admission hypothermia among hospitalized babies. METHODS: The axillary temperatures of consecutive admissions into a Nigerian Newborn Unit were recorded. Temperature <36.5 degrees C defined hypothermia. The biodata and outcome of these babies were studied. RESULTS: Of 150 babies aged 0 to 648 hours, 93 had hypothermia with an incidence of 62\%. Mild and moderate hypothermia accounted for 47.3\% and 52.7\% respectively. The incidence of hypothermia was highest (72.4\%) among babies aged less than 24 hours. It was also higher among out-born babies compared to in-born babies (64.4\% vs 58.3\%). Preterm babies had significantly higher incidence of hypothermia (82.5\%) compared with 54.5\% of term babies (RR = 1.51; CI = 1.21 - 1.89). The incidence of hypothermia was also highest (93.3\%) among very-low-birth-weight babies. The Case-Fatality-Rate was significantly higher among hypothermic babies (37.6\% vs 16.7\%; RR = 2.26, CI = 1.14 - 4.48) and among out-born hypothermic babies (50\% vs 17.1\%; RR = 0.34, CI = 0.16 - 0.74). CFR was highest among hypothermic babies with severe respiratory distress, sepsis, preterm birth and asphyxia. CONCLUSION: The high incidence and poor outcome of hypothermia among high-risk babies is important. The use of the 'warm chain' and skin-to-skin contact between mother and her infant into routine delivery services in health facilities and at home may be useful.
This article was published in BMC Pediatr
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access