Wrapping Premature Babies in Plastic Saving Lives?
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Wrapping Premature Babies in Plastic Saving Lives?


So the heat loss prevention trial or the HELP trial is looking at babies born at less than 28 weeks gestation and we’re randomizing babies to be either
wrapped in plastic immediately after birth or not wrapped in plastic. We’re hoping to show that the babies who are
wrapped in plastic immediately after birth experience less heat loss and because they
experience less heat loss we’re hoping that will show that they have less chance of getting
sick or possibly dying. So all babies are risk for developing hypothermia
immediately after birth. They’re born covered in wet amniotic fluid
that evaporates off their body and as it evaporates
they get cold. Now what we do is we dry the babies off immediately after they’re born
so the amniotic fluid doesn’t evaporate, but sometimes the babies still can get cold.
And a big full-term baby who is more grown and developed than a premature baby is better able
to handle getting cold, whereas the little premature babies, if they do get cold, it increases their chance
of getting sick or possibly dying. So the first thing that we do is right before
the baby is born, we will put the bag on our admission table which is a table with a heat
lamp on it and we’ll prepare the bag. We’ll open it up,
ready to receive the baby. And once the baby is born, immediately or as soon as possible after
birth, we place the baby in the bag and we’ll wrap it around them, we don’t try
the baby first. And then we can do everything that we would
normally do through the bag. We can listen to the baby’s
lungs, we can listen to the baby’s heart. We have access to the baby’s umbilical cord… everything that we can do we do through the
bag. So then the baby will stay in the bag for about
the first hour to two hours of life. Once we have finished all of the processes
that we need to do to stabilize the baby soon after birth we will then put the baby in an incubator we’ll remove the bag, we’ll dry the baby off. So what I think is unique about the heat loss
prevention trial is that we’re looking at whether a three-cent bag can possibly help save lives of babies born
less than twenty eight weeks gestation. And I think the other unique thing about this
trial is this is an intervention that if we are able to show it actually does help save
lives that it can be used all over the world.

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