Seventeen healthy preterm babies had extra warmth provided in their cots by thermocontrolled, heated, water filled mattresses. As controls 17 babies of the same weight were nursed in air heated incubators. Both groups were studied for three weeks. No differences were found in minimal oxygen consumption (measured by indirect calorimetry), rectal and mean skin temperatures, or in daily weight gain. The babies were kept just as warm on the heated, water filled mattresses as in air heated incubators but the mattresses had the advantage of giving the mothers easy access to their babies.
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