A Randomized Trial of Conditioned or Unconditioned Gases for Stabilizing Preterm Infants at Birth

Lorraine McGrory (Lead / Corresponding author), Louise S. Owen, Marta Thio, Jennifer A. Dawson, Anthony R. Rafferty, Atul Malhotra, Peter G. Davis, C. Omar F. Kamlin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To determine whether the use of heated-humidified gases for respiratory support during the stabilization of infants <30 weeks of gestational age (GA) in the delivery room reduces rates of hypothermia on admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

    Study Design: A multicenter, unblinded, randomized trial was conducted in Melbourne, Australia, between February 2013 and June 2015. Infants <30 weeks of GA were randomly assigned to receive either heated-humidified gases or unconditioned gases during stabilization in the delivery room and during transport to NICU. Infants born to mothers with pyrexia >38°C were excluded. Primary outcome was rate of hypothermia on NICU admission (rectal temperature <36.5°C).

    Results: A total of 273 infants were enrolled. Fewer infants in the heated-humidified group were hypothermic on admission to NICU (36/132 [27%]) compared with controls (61/141 [43%], P < .01). There was no difference in rates of hyperthermia (>37.5°C); 20% (27/132) in the heated-humidified group compared with 16% (22/141) in the controls (P = .30). There were no differences in mortality or respiratory outcomes.

    Conclusions: The use of heated-humidified gases in the delivery room significantly reduces hypothermia on admission to NICU in preterm infants, without increased risk of hyperthermia.

    Clinical Trial Registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (www.anzctr.org.au) ACTRN12613000093785.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-53
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Pediatrics
    Early online date26 Oct 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


    • delivery room
    • gas conditioning
    • humidification
    • hypothermia
    • newborn resuscitation
    • newborn stabilization
    • respiratory support

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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