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    Thermal control of the newborn: a practical guide.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Division of Family Health. Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Programme

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1993. ii, 40 p. (Safe Motherhood Practical Guide; WHO/FHE/MSM/93.2)

    Under auspices of the World Health Organization, different specialists have compiled existing knowledge on thermal control of the newborn in this manual. The guidelines are designed to help program managers and health workers understand the principles and methods to prevent and treat hypothermia. Following the introduction, the 2nd chapter presents an overview of hypothermia in infants, including its definition, signs, effects, causative factors, general risk factors, distribution and incidence, and prevention. The 3rd chapter covers the species of thermal control of newborn infants. These specifics are heat production, the process of heat loss and heat gain, environmental conditions to prevent hypothermia, thermal control in practice, measuring the temperature of the newborn, special risk factors (e.g., preterm and low-birth-weight infants), and environmental risk factors. Prevention of hypothermia is discussed in chapter 4. Subtopics include the warm chain, training, preparation for home delivery, preventing heat loss at childbirth and during the neonatal period, preparation for delivery in a maternity unit, and transporting the baby. Chapter 5 (Keeping Preterm and Sick Babies Warm) is subdivided into 3 areas: in the home, in the health center, and general management of babies in incubators. The last area addresses monitoring the infant's body temperature, monitoring the incubator air temperature regularly, opening incubators to perform nursing procedures, loss of heat by radiation, effect of direct sunlight on babies in incubators, use of phototherapy, and cleaning of incubators. Chapter 6 presents guidelines on rewarming hypothermic babies at home, in the health center, and in the hospital.
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