Morbidity and mortality associated with rewarming hypothermic very low birth weight infants

A. Feldman*, B. De Benedictis, G. Alpan, E.F. La Gamma, J. Kase | JNPM 2016;

In very low birthweight (VLBW) infants, hypothermia is associated with poor outcomes. The goal of this study is to assess the relationship between the rate of rewarming these babies and their outcomes.
METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of 98 inborn VLBW infants who were hypothermic (<36°C rectally) upon admission to the NICU. A logistic regression model was used to examine the relationship between the rates of rewarming and time to achieve euthermia and the following outcomes: death, intraventricular hemorrhage, severe intraventricular hemorrhage, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis and retinopathy of prematurity.
RESULTS: Prolonged rewarming time was associate with increased odds of mortality (OR 1.273 95% CI 1.032–1.571). No associations between rewarming rates and any of the outcomes were seen. Once birthweight was included in a multiple logistic regression model, the association between mortality and rewarming time was no longer significant. Outcomes that were not associated with either rate or time of rewarming (even in a univariate model) were: bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular hemorrhage, severe intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis and retinopathy of prematurity.
CONCLUSION: In moderately hypothermic VLBW infants, after accounting for birthweight, no association between rewarming and outcome is seen.

*Corresponding Author: 

Alexander Feldman, DO, Departments of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, Medical Science Building Room F546, 90 Bergen Street, Newark NJ; 07103, USA. Tel.: +1 9739729835; Fax: +1 9739729611; E-mail: