Neonatal Hypothermia : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention

Neonatal Hypothermia : Definition, Etiology, Pathophysiology, Types, Signs, Symptoms, Management, & Prevention


  • Neonatal Hypothermia is defined when neonate axillary temperature < 36.5° C.
  • As per WHO, To detect axillary temperature keep the thermometer in situ for minimum 3 minutes.
  • Normal axillary temperature in neonate: 36.5 – 37.5° C.


  • Cold Stress: When axillary temperature 36-36.4° C.
  • Moderate hypothermia: When axillary temperature 32-35.9° C.
  • Severe hypothermia: When axillary temperature <32.0° C.


1. Cold Stress

  • Skin to skin contact (e.g. Kangaroo mother care KMC).
  • Cover extremities & head.


  • Minimum weight to start KMC : 1800 gm
  • KMC should be stopped when weight exceeds 2500 gm.

2. Moderate hypothermia

Skin to skin contact (e.g. KMC)

Cover extremities & head

Slow rewarming

3. Severe hypothermia

Skin to skin contact (e.g. KMC)

Cover extremities & head

Rapid rewarming till 34°C

Slow rewarming


10 sequential steps of warm chain (Mnemonic: We Went In Summer But Brother And Mother Provided Water)

  • Warm delivery room
  • Warm resuscitation
  • Immediate drying
  • Skin to skin contact
  • Breastfeeding
  • Bathing postponed
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Mother & baby together
  • Professional alertness
  • Warm transportation

How can you diagnose hypothermia without thermometer?

If thermometer is not available, using dorsum of hand following interpretations are made:

  • If both central & peripheral body warm ⇒ No hypothermia
  • If central body warm but peripheral body cold ⇒ Cold stress
  • If both central & peripheral body cold ⇒ Hypothermia

Heat transfer mechanism

  • Incubator: Reducing convection loses.
  • Radiant warmer: Radiation mechanism using infra-red radiation.

Disclaimer: Doctoralerts is an educational platform. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We neither promote nor sell any type of prescription drug or supplement.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Doctoralerts is dedicated to empower every person with the knowledge of medical health by providing precise, credible & valuable health information to better manage their own health status & thereby, improvement in health status of community.


Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved | DoctorAlerts does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

To Top