Early Skin-to-Skin Care with a Polyethylene Bag reduces neonatal hypothermia, Study says
According to recent research, it has been noted that low-cost polyethylene bags started after birth in combination with skin-to-skin care reduced moderate or severe hypothermia at 1 hour and at discharge among newborns, as published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Colm P. Travers and colleagues from the Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL conducted the study to determine whether early polyethylene bag use with skin-to-skin care compared with skin-to skin care alone reduce hypothermia among infants born at term in resource-limited settings.
Infants born at term in the tertiary referral center were randomized using sequentially numbered sealed opaque envelopes in 2 phases: after birth (phase 1) and at 1 hour after birth (phase 2) to either skin-to-skin care with polyethylene bags or skin-to-skin care alone.
A total of 423 infants were enrolled in the study. Infant and maternal temperatures were recorded at birth, 1 hour, and every 4 hours until discharge or 24 hours.
The results showed that –
- The rate of moderate-severe hypothermia (temperature <36.0°C) at 1 hour was 72 of 208 (34.6%) in the skin-to-skin care with a polyethylene bag group compared with 101 of 213 (47.4%) in the skin-to-skin care alone group (relative risk, 0.71; 95% CI 0.56-0.90; P < .01; number needed to treat = 8).
- phase 1 treatment assignment significantly modified the effect of phase 2 treatment (P = .02 for interaction effect).
- Among infants randomized to skin-to-skin care with a polyethylene bag in phase 1, the risk of moderate-severe hypothermia was decreased in infants randomized to continue this intervention until discharge compared with infants randomized to skin-to-skin care alone.
- The rates of severe hypothermia, hyperthermia, and other adverse events did not differ significantly between groups.
Hence, it was concluded that "low-cost polyethylene bags started after birth in combination with skin-to-skin care reduced moderate or severe hypothermia at 1 hour and at discharge among infants born at term in a resource-limited setting compared with skin-to-skin care alone."