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Thermal protection of the newborn in resource-limited environments.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22382859     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Appropriate thermal protection of the newborn prevents hypothermia and its associated burden of morbidity and mortality. Yet, current global birth practices tend to not adequately address this challenge. Here, we discuss the pathophysiology of hypothermia in the newborn, its prevention and therapeutic options with particular attention to resource-limited environments. Newborns are equipped with sophisticated mechanisms of body temperature regulation. Neonatal thermoregulation is a critical function for newborn survival, regulated in the hypothalamus and mediated by endocrine pathways. Hypothermia activates cellular metabolism through shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis. In newborns, optimal temperature ranges are narrow and thermoregulatory mechanisms easily overwhelmed, particularly in premature and low-birth weight infants. Hyperthermia most commonly is associated with dehydration and potentially sepsis. The lack of thermal protection promptly leads to hypothermia, which is associated with detrimental metabolic and other pathophysiological processes. Simple thermal protection strategies are feasible at community and institutional levels in resource-limited environments. Appropriate interventions include skin-to-skin care, breastfeeding and protective clothing or devices. Due to poor provider training and limited awareness of the problem, appropriate thermal care of the newborn is often neglected in many settings. Education and appropriate devices might foster improved hypothermia management through mothers, birth attendants and health care workers. Integration of relatively simple thermal protection interventions into existing mother and child health programs can effectively prevent newborn hypothermia even in resource-limited environments.Journal of Perinatology advance online publication, 1 March 2012; doi:10.1038/jp.2012.11.
K Lunze; D H Hamer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1476-5543     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8501884     Medline TA:  J Perinatol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.
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