The temperature changes associated with total care nursing procedures were studied on 249 occasions during the first week of life in 25 preterm infants weighing less than 1500 g, 16 of whom weighed less than 1100 g. Large drops in both central and peripheral temperature occurred, with widening of the central-peripheral temperature gap. Recovery of the temperature after the total care procedure took up to two hours. These routine nursing procedures are carried out every four to six hours. They cause an important alteration in the environmental temperature with consequent thermal stress to the infants that may influence ultimate outcome.
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