Thermal management of the preterm infant is a cornerstone of neonatology because thermal stress is an important determinant of survival. Premature infants are born without the adaptive mechanisms needed for survival outside of the womb. These fragile infants require thermoprotective interventions that begin in the delivery room. Current heat preservation interventions such as a pre-warmed delivery room, warm blankets/towels, drying, radiant warmer tables, and skin-to-skin with mother are not as effective in preserving heat in the smallest of infants.
Despite the use of current heat preservation strategies premature infants remain vulnerable to hypothermia and associated morbidities and mortality. This evidentiary review will explore the most recent research on occlusive skin wrap in the delivery room for heat preservation in the premature infant and preventing the morbidities.