Normal body temperature is maintained by balancing heat loss and heat gain in a changing environment. Less than 1°C separates a baby from cold stress and warm stress which divert energy away from growth and towards the struggle of regulating body temperature.
The importance of maintaining the temperature of the newborn baby has been known for centuries. Thermal stress has been associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality, making early detection an important part of monitoring in sick infants.
Two main mechanisms control heat production:
- Chemical thermogenesis
- Muscle activity
Four mechanisms create heat loss:
In this section, learn more about how maintaining a neutral body temperature depends on equilibrium between different variables.
Videos and Lectures
- Dr. John Sparks on the Importance of Thermoregulation
- Dr. Andrew Lyon on the Importance of Thermoregulation and Thermomonitoring
- Dr. Jay Greenspan, M.D.
- Recognizing and Understanding the Cold-Stressed Term Infant
Hypothermia is an important cause of morbidity—and occasionally mortality—in the newborn. This article explains the physiology of thermoregulation and thermogenesis in term infants.
- Hemodynamics Among Neonates With Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy During Whole-Body Hypothermia and Passive Rewarming
To assess changes in cardiac performance, with Doppler echocardiography, among newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy during mild therapeutic hypothermia and during rewarming.
- Keeping Infants Warm - Challenges of Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in infants; therefore, maintaining normal body temperatures in the delivery room is crucial.
- With and without heated mattress: comparing skin temperature profiles of newborns in
open care therapy.
Sometimes, with all the attentions focused on ventilation monitoring and cardiovascular management, neonatal intensive care patients do not receive the level of warming therapy they should, despite the fact that a steady supply of warmth is essential for every newborn.