Premature Infant's Inability to Maintain Body Heat
A premature infant's body is not able to maintain body
heat. It's important to prevent hypothermia, which is a loss of body heat that can be dangerous. So the
infant is kept warm on a heated bed. This may be inside a draft-free enclosure
(isolette or incubator) or under a radiant heater.
As the infant's
nervous system, skin, and metabolism mature, the
infant is less likely to get hypothermia. At about 34 weeks'
gestation, or about 4 lb (2 kg), a
premature infant usually can be moved into an open
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine John Pope, MD - Pediatrics Specialist Medical ReviewerJennifer Merchant, MD - Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine