Heat loss prevention: a systematic review of occlusive skin wrap for premature neonates

J Perinatol. 2005 Dec;25(12):763-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.jp.7211392.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / mortality
  • Hypothermia / prevention & control*
  • Incubators, Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / mortality
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Occlusive Dressings*
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Survival Analysis