Objective: To determine if increasing delivery room temperature to that recommended by the World Health Organization results in increased admission temperatures of preterm infants.
Study design: Admission rectal temperatures of newborns ≤32 weeks gestation delivered in rooms with temperature set at 24 to 26 °C were compared with those of similar newborns delivered in rooms with temperature set at 20 to 23 °C.
Result: Premature newborns delivered in rooms with mean temperature 25.1±0.6 °C (n=43), compared with those delivered in rooms with mean temperature 22.5±0.6 °C (n=48), had a lower incidence (34.9% vs 68.8%, P<0.01) of admission rectal temperature <36 °C and higher admission rectal temperatures (36.0±0.9 °C vs 35.5±0.8 °C, P<0.01). This difference persisted after adjustment for birth weight and 5 min Apgar score.
Conclusion: Increasing delivery room temperatures to that recommended by the World Health Organization decreases cold stress in premature newborns.