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J Perinatol. 1998 May-Jun;18(3):216-20.

Isopropyl pad use in neonatal intensive care units.

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Center for Nursing Research, School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269-2026, USA.



Isopropyl pads (IPs) are commonly used to cleanse skin. This traditional practice is benign when applied to adults, however, its efficacy and safety when used for health-compromised neonates is questionable. This research explores the extent of IP use in 114 infants in neonatal intensive care units and identifies characteristics associated with IP use.


A descriptive design, with data collected at two different sites over multiple observation periods, was used.


Generally low IP to skin use was found, with most babies being exposed to one to two pads per 8 hours. Some babies, most frequently the lowest weight, most premature, and health compromised babies, had exposure to as many as eight pads per 8 hours.


Because the smallest, most vulnerable neonates are those most exposed to the highest levels of isopropyl alcohol on the skin, conscious attention needs be paid to IP use to avoid or eliminate unnecessary exposure to the potentially toxic substance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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