Objective: To systematically identify and synthesize investigations of the effectiveness of occlusive skin wrap for reducing heat loss in premature infants born at less than 36 weeks gestations.
Study design: Systematic review.
Results: Three randomized controlled trials (RCT) and five historical controlled trials (HCT) were included. Meta-analysis shows wrapped infants had significantly higher admission temperatures than unwrapped infants (RCTs WMD 0.63 degrees C, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38, 0.87; HCTs WMD 0.96 degrees C, 95% CI 0.66, 1.27). A statistically significant difference in mortality was not found between wrapped and unwrapped infants in the RCTs (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.36, 1.45) or the HCTs (RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.51, 1.13).
Conclusions: The findings suggest that occlusive skin wrap prevents heat loss in premature infants. The meta-analysis lacked the power to provide definitive results regarding the effect of wrap on mortality.