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Oxygen Consumption and Heat Balance in the Cot-nursed Baby
  1. E. N. Hey,
  2. Bridget O'Connell


    Oxygen consumption and heat balance have been studied in 42 clothed babies under varied environmental temperature conditions. The information obtained has made it possible to compare the thermal environment provided by an incubator with that provided by an ordinary nursery cot. Some of the merits of cots and incubators are contrasted.

    Resistance to heat loss in a naked newborn baby lying on a mattress in a moderately humid draught-free room is approximately 1 `clo' unit. Provision of a vest, napkin, and long nightdress increases this resistance to about 2·3 units, while wrapping the clothed baby in a flannelette sheet and covering it with 2 layers of cotton blanket increases the total resistance to 2·9 clo units.

    A draught-free environment of 24 °C. (75 °F.) is necessary to provide completely neutral thermal conditions for most cot-nursed babies insulated against heat loss with clothes and blankets in the first month of life, while a room temperature of up to 29 °C. (85 °F.) may be necessary to ensure comparable conditions for a baby weighing less than 1½ kg. during much of the first week of life.

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