We describe a simple method of determining weight loss and hence water loss of infants in incubators. Unlike previously reported methods, it does not interfere with the microenvironment surrounding the infant. Weight loss of 16 term and 32 preterm infants was measured in both forced and natural convection. No significant increase in water loss was observed in the term infants but in the preterm infants the mean loss in natural convection was 0.85 g/kg/hour compared with 1.26 g/kg/hour in forced convection: in the most extreme situation it was doubled. This water loss represents a substantial energy loss and suggestions to minimise it are discussed.
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