Objective: To compare the admission temperatures, incidence of hypothermia and discharge outcomes of preterm neonates managed with Trans-warmer mattress (TWM) initiated in the delivery room (DR) and controls.
Study design: A prospective quasi-randomized controlled trial was performed between January and November 2009 on preterm neonates <32 weeks gestation. Infants in the intervention group were resuscitated and transported to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on a TWM, in addition to other measures recommended by the Neonatal Resuscitation Program.
Result: The mean (s.d.) gestational age 28.7 (3) vs 28.7 (2.4) weeks and birth weight 1151 (407) vs 1175 (413) g) were comparable in the intervention (n=53) and control (n=49) groups. Temperature of the DR, maternal temperature, 5 min Apgar score, mode of delivery, cord pH and need for resuscitation were similar in both groups. Temperature of neonates in the DR (36.3 vs 36.0 °C) was also similar. Admission temperature in the NICU was significantly higher 36.2 °C (0.8) vs 35.7 °C (0.8) and incidence of hypothermia (temperatures <36 °C) lower in the intervention group (34 vs 57%, P<0.05). TWM use was not associated with any adverse effects. On logistic regression, low birth weight, lack of use of TWM and low DR temperature were independently associated with admission hypothermia.
Conclusion: In this quasi-randomized controlled trial, the admission temperatures of preterm neonates on whom TWM was used were significantly higher compared to controls with a reduction in the incidence of hypothermia. A TWM initiated in the DR may be a simple efficacious method of reducing hypothermia in preterm neonates.