Question and answer: Q&A: A query has been raised as to why plastic bags are not recommended in the newborn life support guideline. The 2017 Supplementary Guidelines explain the reason for this as follows: The use of radiant heat source, such as a heated mattress, may offer the possibility to provide a controlled head source within which it becomes appropriate to consider the use of plastic bags and polythene wraps. This should be undertaken in a research capacity where the uncontrolled environment of the pre-hospital setting and the changing temperature within the ambulance chamber during conveyance are accounted for. Where a tested, proven radiant heat source is available significantly preterm infants (<32 weeks gestation) and all those requiring resuscitation are best placed, after drying, into polythene wrapping, up to their armpits, to maintain their temperature. The research that was referenced in regards to the use of plastic bags was within a labour ward environment. The advice within JRCALC now reflects the guidance within the Newborn Life Support (Resuscitation Council) that only recommends the use of plastic bags WITH a radiant heat source.
Date posted: October 23, 2017
Date resolved: January 1, 1970