To evaluate thermal responses, weight gain, and resting energy expenditure (REE) in preterm infants weaned from an infant incubator to a warming bassinet after reaching a body weight of either 1,500 or 1,600 g, respectively.Methods
Preterm infants weighing ≤ 1,500 g were randomly allocated for weaning from a convective incubator after reaching 1,500 g body weight (study group) or 1,600 g (controls). Postweaning body temperature was recorded at short intervals. REE was measured before and after weaning, while the weight gain was calculated daily.Results
All 21 enrolled infants were weaned successfully to a bassinet (room temperature). REE inside the incubator and in the warming bassinette was similar between infants weaned at 1,500 g and at 1,600 g (2.9 ± 6.8 vs. 1.1 ± 4.8 kcal/kg/d, respectively (p = 0.7). REE increased slightly after weaning in both groups. Weight gain and days from randomization to discharge did not differ between groups.Conclusion
Weaning very low birth weight infants from an incubator to a warming bassinet at a body weight of 1,500 g is feasible and has no significant deleterious effects on weight gain and REE. The many benefits provided by such greater accessibility to premature infants are discussed.