Data have been presented in previous papers of this series demonstrating that under standard conditions of indirect calorimetry infants and children lose an average of 26 and 24 per cent, respectively, of their basal heat production by vaporization of water through the skin and lungs.1 The tendency to hypothermia exhibited by premature infants in the presence of a comparatively normal mechanism of heat production2 suggested that they may dissipate an excessive fraction of their heat by vaporization.
To our knowledge the literature contains observations on only two premature infants, the average figure for four observations, each of from four to five days' duration, being approximately 46 per cent.8 In our investigation the elimination of water from the skin and respiratory passages and the heat production of ten premature infants were determined.
APPARATUS AND METHODS
Simultaneous measurements of heat production and water elimination were made in fifty-one calorimetric
GORDON HH, KELLY MD. RESPIRATORY METABOLISM IN INFANCY AND IN CHILDHOOD: XIX. THE RESPIRATORY EXCHANGE IN PREMATURE INFANTS—ELIMINATION OF WATER THROUGH THE SKIN AND THE RESPIRATORY PASSAGES. Am J Dis Child. 1936;52(5):1100–1106. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1936.04140050056006
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