Infrared thermography for detailed registration of thermoregulation in premature infants

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate skin temperature by using different positions with non-contact infrared thermography (IRT) in multiple body areas of preterm infants for detailed information about temperature regulation and distribution.

Methods:

The temperature of ten premature infants (median: 27 weeks; age 36 days; weight 1322 g) was determined via IRT (leg, back, arm, head, upper abdomen; diameter 1 cm, scale 0.00∘C), and comparison was made with two conventional sensors. There were measurements of 10 min each: first incubator phase (I1), standardized skin-to-skin care (SSC) at the beginning (SSC1), after 90 min (SSC2), and then there was a second incubator phase (I2).

Results:

From I1 to SSC1, patients cooled down (max. 0.62∘C; both methods). From SSC1 to SSC2 temperature on central areas (abdomen, back) was maintained but rose distinctively on the head and leg (P<0.05). In the incubator (I2), temperature niveau in all IRT-areas was significantly lower than before SSC.

Conclusion:

Via IRT, it is possible to detect fluctuations in temperature of premature infants. The cooling in I2 after SSC should be taken into account before routine daily care.

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