P. S. Aravindh Rajha1, Naveen Kumar B. V2, Beere Gowda Y. C3

ABSTRACT: NEED FOR STUDY: Hypothermia during the newborn period is widely regarded as a major contributory factor of significant morbidity and mortality in developing countries. High prevalence of hypothermia has been reported from countries with the highest burden of neonatal mortality, where hypothermia is increasingly gaining attention and significance as a critical intervention for newborn survival. Use of a simple, cheap device like thermospot which gives continuous monitoring of neonatal temperature, which could be used even by illiterate care givers is the need of the hour and this study emphasizes the effectiveness of such a simple device in detecting hypothermia in newborn babies compared to standard rectal temperature. METHODS: This is a prospective study conducted in the Department of pediatrics, at R.L. Jalappa hospital and Research Centre attached to Sri DevarajUrs Medical College, Tamaka, Kolar from May 2012 to May 2013. All newborns delivered at R. L. Jalappa hospital and who were shifted to mother side was taken up for the study. After taking consent, Thermo spot was attached to right hypochondrium of the neonate and colour of thermo spot along with rectal temperature readings were checked twice a day for the first three days. Thermo spot turns green if the temperature is above 35.5??c. If the temperature falls below 35.5??c it turns black. Comparison was made between the rectal temperature readings and colour of the thermo spot. RESULTS: Among 2520 rectal temperature readings, hypothermia with temperature less than 35.5oC was recorded 226 times and the thermospot was found to be Black in 219 occasions indicating hypothermia. A total of 7 times even when the temperature was <35.5oC, the thermo spot was green. The study showed a sensitivity of 96.9% and a Specificity of 99.8% by thermo spot in detecting neonatal hypothermia compared to rectal temperature. CONCLUSION: The Thermo spot was found to be highly effective in detecting neonatal hypothermia compared with rectal temperature.