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Acta Paediatr Scand. 1990 Oct;79(10):893-8.

The effect of a warm environment on respiratory water loss in fullterm newborn infants on their first day after birth.

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Department of Paediatrics, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.


Continuous measurements of respiratory water loss (RWL), oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production were made in 21 fullterm infants on their first day after birth. The infants were first studied in incubators with a temperature of 32.5 degrees C and an ambient humidity of 50%. After an interval with stable conditions the incubator temperature was raised to 36.5 degrees C while the water vapour pressure was kept constant. When the rectal temperature had increased to 37.8 degrees C or when the infant had started to sweat, the relative humidity in the incubator was increased to 50%. At the start of the measurements mean RWL was 4.9 mg/kg min. On the average, RWL increased to a maximal value of 7.0 mg/kg min in the warm environment. Mean oxygen consumption only increased from 5.3 to 5.8 ml/kg min. This meant that when nursed in this warm environment the infants were able to increase their respiratory water loss by nearly 50% without a significant change in oxygen consumption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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