A prospective study of post-delivery temperature changes from birth to 24h, carried out in a busy District General Hospital is reported. The temperature fall after delivery was less than expected and reflected a high level of awareness of the dangers of hypothermia. On the basis of the findings of the survey, hypothermia in the first 24h can be defined as a rectal temperature of < 36°4°C. Those babies who did become hypothermic were significantly more likely to be of low birth weight or preterm gestation. © 1991 Longman Group UK Ltd All right reserved.
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