1. Apanovitch, Audrey R. BS, RN
  2. McGrath, Jacqueline M. PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
  3. McGlothen-Bell, Kelly PhD, RN, IBCLC
  4. Briere, Carrie-Ellen PhD, RN, CLC


Background: Smaller preterm infants often receive extra attention with implementation of additional thermoregulation interventions in the delivery room. Yet, these bundles of interventions have largely remained understudied in larger infants.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate initial (or admission) temperatures of infants born weighing 1500 g or more with diagnoses requiring admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).


Methods: Retrospective medical record review of 388 infants weighing 1500 g or more admitted to the NICU between January 2016 and June 2017.


Result: In total, 42.5% of infants weighing 1500 g or more were admitted hypothermic (<36.5[degrees]C), 54.4% with a normothermic temperature, and 2.8% were hyperthermic. Of those infants admitted hypothermic, 30.4% had an admission temperature ranging from 36[degrees]C to 36.4[degrees]C and 12.1% had an admission temperature of less than 36[degrees]C. When compared with infants weighing less than 1500 g, who were born at the same institution and received extra thermal support interventions, there was a statistically significant difference (P < .001) between admission temperatures where infants less than 1500 g were slightly warmer (36.8[degrees]C vs 36.5[degrees]C).


Implications for Practice: Ongoing admission temperature monitoring of all infants requiring NICU admission regardless of birth weight or admission diagnosis is important if we are going to provide the best support to decrease mortality and morbidity for this high-risk population.


Implications for Research: While this study examined short-term outcomes, effects on long-term outcomes were not addressed. Findings could be used to design targeted interventions to support thermal regulation for all high-risk infants.


Conclusion: Neonates admitted to the NICU weighing 1500 g or more are at high risk for developing hypothermia, similar to smaller preterm infants.