The Effect of a Swaddle Bathing Policy in the NICU on the Prevention of Hypothermia and Stress in the Premature Neonate
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Bathing can cause stress and hypothermia in the neonate increasing the metabolic demand on the body causing complications. Complications can lead to an extended hospital stay as well as institutional and overall economic burden. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the benefits of using swaddle bathing policy in level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients as well as to provide education and implement the current unit policy on bathing.|This quality improvement project took place at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital a 33-bed, level IV NICU. Education/procedure demonstrations on swaddle bathing were held on the unit and pre- and post- survey data were compared. Following the swaddle bathing re-education, the number of swaddle baths improved on the unit by 42.6%. In addition, the post- survey data showed a decrease in the number of total stress cues present during bathing. A limited number of infants on respiratory support were evaluated making it difficult to link respiratory status and FIO2 requirement to bath type. Infants that had swaddle baths had an overall higher temperature than those that received sponge baths in the post-implementation group (Table 4) with no neonates having experienced a temperature below 36.4ºC. Re-education of the nursing staff on the current swaddle bathing procedure benefited this level IV unit by improving the number of swaddle baths being performed, decreasing hypothermia, and limiting stress in the unit population.
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