Neonatal Hypothermia

A Method to Provide Neuroprotection After Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Katherine M. Newnam, MS, RN, CPNP, NNP-BC; Donna L. DeLoach, MS, RN, CPNP, NNP-BC


NAINR. 2011;11(3):113-124. 

In This Article

Preparing for Hypothermia: The Nurse's Role

Because timely institution of hypothermia is critical for the best outcome, it is imperative that the bedside nurse has a good working knowledge of the cooling equipment provided in her institution. A full understanding may be gained through training exercises designed to include setting up and troubleshooting improperly working equipment well before a cooling protocol is implemented.[29] Most problems occur during the initiation of the cooling, and a well-prepared nurse can save precious time.[32] All parts of the cooling apparatus should be connected and turned on before the infant's arrival.[29] Upon admission, preparations for proper placement of the temperature probe may include warming (for flexibility and comfort), lubrication, measuring for proper placement, and confirmation of position by x-ray (for esophageal probes). A written protocol and standardized order sheet developed by the institution will ensure that all necessary preparations, monitoring, and patient needs are met. The established optimal patient temperature goal is 33.5°C, with a range of 32.5 to 34.5, as discussed in the hypothermia protocol sections above.[14]


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