Preterm babies are at particular risk of hypothermia with associated adverse effects including an increased risk of hypoglycaemia, hypoxia and metabolic acidosis, respiratory distress and chronic lung disease, necrotising enterocolitis, intraventricular haemorrhage, late-onset sepsis and death.
The NNAP sets a standard that the composite measure of timeliness and normal temperature should be met for at least 90% of babies but in 2017 the national rate of compliance was 64.4%, with a range of 30%-96% in units with more than 20 eligible babies. Consequently, implementation of evidenced-based thermal care strategies is required to address this issue.
This toolkit is not intended to be read as a guideline which mandates a standard practice for all units. Instead it is a practical resource from which units, who wish to improve their normothermia rate, can select the most suitable interventions for their own particular context.
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