Author(s): Ogunlesi TA, Ogunfowora OB, Ogundeyi MM
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Hypothermia is a major contributor to early neonatal deaths especially in the developing world. Factors which predispose babies to hypothermia need to be identified for intervention purposes. OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and risk factors for neonatal hypothermia at admission in the first 72 h of life. METHODS: Babies hospitalized within the first 72 h of life in a Nigerian Neonatal Unit were surveyed. Data collected included age, sex, weight, place of delivery, history of breastfeeding, recent bath, oil cleansing of the skin and presence of asphyxia. Babies with skin (axillary) temperature <36.5 degrees C were considered hypothermic. RESULTS: Of the 111 babies, 75 (67.6\%) were hypothermic. The prevalence of hypothermia was high among babies aged <6 h (80.6\%), preterm infants (88.9\%), low-birth-weight babies (89.1\%), babies with birth asphyxia (76.3\%), babies without recent oiling of the skin (90.6\%) and babies who had not been breastfed (79.2\%). Using logistic regression, significant risk factors for early neonatal hypothermia at admission included low-birth-weight (P=0.000) and lack of breastfeeding (P=0.028). CONCLUSION: Most of the identified risk factors are preventable. The warm chain should be strictly applied in-hospital and be taught to mothers and community health workers.
This article was published in J Perinat Med
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access