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Biomarkers of stress in preterm newborns exposed to bath: a pilot study

Patrícia de Freitas, Amélia Fumiko Kimura


Introduction: the corporal hygiene of the preterm newborn, although it is a recommended and routine practice, requires caution and safety for provoking disorganization in the autonomic system and homeostasis imbalance. Aim: to evaluate the variation of heart rate, oxygen saturation and salivary cortisol levels of preterm newborns submitted to conventional immersion baths and swaddled in sheets. Method: this is a randomized, pilot, cross-over clinical trial with 15 clinically stable preterm newborns. Results: the mean heart rate and oxygen saturation after the conventional immersion bath and swaddled in sheet did not present significant clinical and statistical differences. There was an increase in the salivary cortisol concentration when comparing the pre and post-bath values in the two bath techniques. Conclusion: there were no significant differences in stress biomarkers when comparing the two bathing techniques.


Biomarkers; Infant, Premature; Heart Rate; Oxygenation; Skin Care; Neonatal Nursing


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