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A Survey of Skin Care Practices for Premature Low Birth Weight Infants

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Purpose: To provide baseline information about current skin care practices in premature low birth weight infants (<1,000 gm birth weight) in typical NICUs within the U.S.

Design: Descriptive survey.

Sample: 104 hospitals with at least 2,500 deliveries per year and at least 20 Level III NICU beds.

Main Outcome Variables: Environmental conditions, bathing practices and products, adhesive products used to secure IVs and endotracheal tubes, skin protectants used with diaper rash, treatment systems for fragile preterm skin, and treatment systems for denuded skin.

Results: Most units surveyed based their premature low birth weight skin care protocols on a combination of gestational age and birth weight criteria. One-quarter of the units had no skin care protocols at all. Among the units, there was considerable practice variation with respect to common nursing procedures such as bathing, adhesive application, and wound care.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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