Maintaining fluid and heat balance is of vital importance to the newborn infant. At birth, the infant is exposed to a cold and dry environment, putting preterm neonates, in particular, at risk of dehydration and hypothermia.
Preterm neonates have a high rate of water and heat loss mainly because of their immature skin. The care environment influences the magnitude of water and heat exchange, and needs to be individually tailored on the basis of the infant’s:
- Clinical status
- Maturity at birth
- Postnatal age
Discover more about the importance of humidity regulation in the care of newborns.
Videos and Lectures
- Computer-Generated Versus Nurse-Determined Strategy for Incubator Humidity
To compare effects on premature infants' weight gain of a computer-generated and a nurse-determined incubator humidity strategy. An optimal humidity protocol is thought to reduce time to regain birthweight.
- Thermoregulation and Heat Loss Prevention After Birth and During Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit Stabilization of Extremely Low-Birthweight Infants
Extremely low-birthweight infants have inefficient thermoregulation due to immaturity and may exhibit cold body temperatures after birth and during their first 12 hours of life. Hypothermia in these infants can lead to increased morbidity and mortality.
- Heatbalance, A Computer Program to Determine Optimum Incubator Air Temperature and Humidity. A Comparison Against Nurse Settings for Infants Less than 29 Weeks Gestation
Very immature newborn infants need close control of their thermal environment. Decisions on incubator temperature and humidity settings can be difficult and available charts are not readily applicable to these babies.
- Humidity Control System in Newborn Incubator
In this work they were developed a microcontrolled system devoted to the newborn incubator in order to check the conditions of the environment provided to the premature newborns, a humidity control system and software that carries out the reading of the sensors.
- Neonatal Hygroscopic Condenser Humidifier
A hygroscopic condenser humidifier was developed for neonates on mechanical ventilation and was evaluated by laboratory tests and clinically.
- Ambient Humidity Influences the Rate of Skin Barrier Maturation in Extremely Preterm Infants
To test the hypothesis that the level of relative humidity (RH) in which preterm infants are nursed might influence their postnatal skin maturation.
- Effects of Low Humidity on Small Premature Infants in Servo-Control Incubators-Decrease in Rectal Temperature
With low humidity, rectal temperature dropped significantly below abdominal skin temperature. Skin was the predominant site of evaporative heat loss. The temperature was lower on naked skin than on an area covered by adhesive tape.
- The Effect of Humidity on Survivial of Newly Born Premature Infants
A controlled clinical trial was conducted to study the effects of two conditions of humidity upon respiratory symptoms, death rate and necropsy findings among premature infants in the first 5 days of life.
- Water Loss From the Skin of Term and Preterm Infants Nursed Under a Radiant Heater
The rate of evaporation from the skin (g/m2/h) was measured in 12 full-term and 16 preterm infants (gestational age 25-34 wk) both during incubator care and when nursed under a radiant heater.