Lability of body temperature is a well known characteristic of premature infants, and maintenance of a uniform body temperature is considered an important item in their care. The physician, therefore, should have accurate information on the physiologic factors which contribute to the readiness with which a disturbance of their heat balance may be induced by minor changes in environmental temperature. The present investigation is a quantitative study of the factors concerned in heat regulation, namely, heat production, heat loss by radiation and conduction, heat loss by evaporation, skin temperature, rectal temperature and bodily activity. From the data the conclusion is drawn that healthy premature infants do not suffer, as a group, from a defect in circulatory adjustments to different air temperatures. They do have an inadequate production of sweat, a large surface area and a poor layer of insulating subcutaneous fat for protection against heat loss.
Previous studies of
DAY R, CURTIS J, KELLY M. RESPIRATORY METABOLISM IN INFANCY AND IN CHILDHOODXXVII. REGULATION OF BODY TEMPERATURE OF PREMATURE INFANTS. Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(3):376–398. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010150024003
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